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-C hinese Kitten 






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No. 

MEMORIAL HALL LIBRARY 

AND OyER, MASS. 

JUNIOR LIBRARY.. 

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A 



THE CHINESE KITTEN 



BOOKS BY 
EDNA A. BROWN 



FICTION 



THAT AFFAIR AT ST. PETER'S 
JOURNEY'S END 



FOR BOYS AND GIRLS 



FOUR GORDONS 

UNCLE DAVID'S BOYS 

WHEN MAX CAME 

ARNOLD'S LITTLE BROTHER 

ARCHER AND THE "PROPHET 1 

THE SPANISH CHEST 

AT THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE 

RAINBOW ISLAND 

ROBIN HOLLOW 



FOR YOUNGER READERS 



THE SILVER BEAR 

THE CHINESE KITTEN 

WHISTLING ROCK 

THREE GATES 

POLLY'S SHOP 



LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO., BOSTON 



L 




Wrapped in ujohi' red papeb bo bhi could n<h fail to sei m, 
\ small box, i mm \uiii \ white ribbon — Page 89. 



THE 

CHINESE KITTEN 



rBY -V 

EDNA A BROWN > 
J 

\ ILLUSTRATED BY £ 

X^ ANTOINETTE INGLIS ./ 



^-*N> ^ 



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/rTT^J 



BOSTON 
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO. 



Copyright, 1922, 
By Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co, 



All Rights Reserved 



The Chinese Kitten 



Printed in U. S. A. 



junior Library 



o 
•> 



To Muff y the Dearest Kitten 



< 7 7 o 



CONTENTS 



I. 


The Surprise 




a 


. 11 


n. 


At the Beach 




. 24 


in. 


About Arcturus . 






, 36 


IVo 


Friends from Home 






. 50 


v. 


When School Begins 






. 66 


VI. 


Dora's Birthday . 






. 83 


VII. 


About Boston 






. 94 


VIII. 


Sunday Afternoon 






. Ill 


IX. 


The Kitten's Story 






• 133 


Xc 


The Victory Park 






. 148 


XL 


Hallowe'en . 






. 166 


XII. 


A Busy Saturday 






. 177 


XIIL 


Thanksgiving 






. 193 


XIV. 


Christmas 






. 209 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Wrapped in bright red paper so she 
could not fail to see it, was a small box, 
tied with a white ribbon ( Page 89 ) Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

Old Father Ocean ran right in through the 
front door 34 

Dora shivered a little when the squirrel put 
its paws about her fingers . . .102 

" Ghosts, Mamma ! Come and save me ! " . 174 

What possessed Timothy just then ? . . 200 

A great star was looking through the open 
window 220 



The Chinese Kitten 

CHAPTER I 

THE SURPRISE 

" X THINK," said Lucy Merrill in a whis< 
fc per to her sister Dora, " that Uncle Dan 

has a surprise for us." 
Dora was industriously setting the table for 
supper. Lucy, at the kitchen dresser, was 
peeling peaches. Lucy had on a big apron be- 
longing to her mother, and it covered both her 
and the stool on which she sat. Dora wore a. 
pink apron over her checked pink-and-white 
dress, and Dora's apron was just like the big 
one, only the right size. 

Lucy owned a proper-sized apron also, but 
Lucy had been unlucky enough to upset the 

blueing bottle when she took a dish from the 

11 



12 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

kitchen closet. Her apron wasn't hurt a bit, 
but Mrs. Merrill had rinsed it out and now it 
was flapping on the line in the back yard. The 
closet floor was bluer than the apron and not 
so easy to wash. 

" What makes you think there is a sur- 
prise? " asked Dora, standing back from the 
table to see whether she had remembered 
everything that anybody could use during sup- 
per. No, she had forgotten the pulverized 
sugar for the peaches. 

" Because," said Lucy, " he keeps following 
Mother everywhere she goes, and I know he is 
teasing her to do something. I heard him say 
something about the beach." 

Dora stopped in the pantry doorway, her 
eyes big and blue. " Do you think we can be 
going to the beach? " she asked eagerly. 

"My, I hope so!" said Lucy. "We 
haven't been away this summer. And Father 



TEE SURPRISE 13 

said last night that the press was going to shut 
down for the week after Labor Day." 

Dora looked out of the window across the 
street at the low brick building where Father 
Merrill worked in the printing office. 

" We had better not ask too many ques- 
tions," she said wisely. " Perhaps Uncle Dan 
is going to take us to White Beach for a day. 
But we did go to the vacation school, Lucy, 
and that was a great deal of fun." 

" It was," agreed Lucy. " And it cost a 
dollar a week. But just one day at the beach 
would be lovely. I wish the Sunday-school 
picnic had gone there." 

Dora didn't agree with Lucy. That an- 
nual picnic had been held at World's End 
Pond. Even the salt water could not be nicer 
than that place. 

Just as Lucy finished the last peach, Mrs. 
Merrill came in. Dora brought the sugar-bowl 



14 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

from the pantry and looked hard at her 
mother. Sometimes it was possible to tell by 
Mother's face how she felt about things. 

Mrs. Merrill did not seem disturbed, but 
neither did she look as though she was think- 
ing of anything especially pleasant. She put 
the rest of the supper on the table and told 
Lucy to call her father and Uncle Dan. 

It was Uncle Dan who told the secret. 
Right in the middle of supper he turned to his 
sister. 

" You know, Molly," he began, " Jack says 
I may have his tent and we should need only 



one. 



"Dan!" said Mother Merrill, and every- 
body was still. The children looked at Uncle 
Dan. Then Father Merrill laughed. 

"A tent!" shrieked Lucy. Dora jumped 
right out of her chair and ran around the 
table to her uncle. 






THE SURPRISE 15 

"Are we going, too?" she asked quite 
breathlessly. " Can I sleep in a tent? I never 
did, you know." 

Mr. Merrill laughed again, and this time 
Dan laughed with him. 

" You've done it now, Dan," said his sister. 
" You may as well tell them." 

But Uncle Dan didn't explain. " Oh, 
Molly, then you will go? " he asked as eagerly 
as the little girls. 

" I suppose I shall have to," said Mrs. 
Merrill, but she didn't look as though she 
would find it very hard work. 

" What is it? What is it? " Dora was ask- 
ing with her arms around her young uncle's 
neck. 

" Quit choking me," said Dan. " Go back 
and eat your supper." 

Dora gave him one last hard hug before re- 
turning to her chair. " I know it is nice," she 



16 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

said. " But is it the beach, Uncle Dan, and 
are we to sleep in a tent? " 

" Maybe," said Dan. 

" The press is going to shut down for a 
week," said Mrs. Merrill, " and Dan can get 
off, too. He wants to go over to White Beach. 
There's a little shack we can have for not much 
money, but it has only two rooms. Dan thinks 
he can bunk on the porch. He wants Olive 
Gates to go with us, and she and you children 
would have to sleep in the tent." 

" I wouldn't be scared if Olive was with 
us," said Lucy. Dora was too happy to say 
anything at all. Her eyes shone and looked 
bluer than ever. When one is only eight, there 
are a great many important things in life. To 
go to the beach and to sleep in a tent seemed 
almost too good to be true. 

" Alice Harper is at the beach this summer, 
but she sleeps in a house," said Lucy. No- 



THE SURPRISE 17 

body was listening. Dan and Mr. Merrill were 
both talking, and it was plain that they wanted 
to go just as much as the children did. 

" What shall we do with Timmy? " asked 
Dora, a sudden cloud coming over her face. It 
would never do to leave the tiger-striped pussy 
to take care of himself for a week. " Can he 
go with us? " 

" No," said Mrs. Merrill. " He would be 
scared to death, if he didn't run away entirely." 

Dora looked so distressed that Mr. Merrill 
could not stand it. " We'll plan for Timmy," 
he said kindly. " I never did think much of 
people who go off for a vacation and leave their 
cats to take care of themselves. We will leave 
the key of the house with Jim Baker, and ask 
his little girl to come over twice a day to feed 
Timmy and to let him into the kitchen every 
night if he wants to sleep inside. But these 
nice nights, Timmy may prefer to stay out." 



18 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Dora's face looked bright again. Of course 
she could not enjoy the beach if Timmy were 
not cared for. He was used to being petted 
and fed regularly. Now there was not a cloud 
in her sky. 

Uncle Dan was as pleased as the little girls. 
He talked much more than usual during sup- 
per, and after it was over and the dishes were 
being washed, he came to where his sister was 
mixing bread. 

"All right for me to ask Olive?" he in- 
quired. 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill, smiling a little. 
" Tell her we all want her to go with us." 

Dan was off in a hurry, but before he went 
he gave his sister an awkward hug. 

Never were dishes done with such speed! 
Mrs. Merrill looked at them suspiciously but 
did not say a word. Lucy had washed them 
properly and Dora had wiped them as dry as 



TEE SURPRISE 19 

could be, even though they worked so fast. 
And yet neither of them knew why they were 
hurrying. They were not to go to the beach 
for three days, not until Saturday. 

There was plenty to do between then and the 
end of the week. First, they had to decide 
what clothes to take, and were surprised to find 
that Mother did not think as they did about 
the dresses. She came and looked at them 
when Lucy and Dora had laid them out on 
their bed. 

" You won't need your good clothes," she 
said. " Those must be kept for school. You 
will be playing on the beach all day, and not 
need to be dressed up. When we go over, you 
will have on one good dress apiece, and that is 
enough." 

Lucy and Dora were disappointed. They 
thought that people who went away on a vaca- 
tion should take all their best clothes. 



20 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" But not people who live in tents," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " That makes a great differ- 
ence. We are only going to camp, you know." 

" But I may take Arcturus? " Dora begged, 
bringing from her bureau the little silver bear 
on her neck-chain, the bear which had been 
named for a star. " Arcturus does really need 
sea air, Mother." 

" He looks as though he were pining away," 
said Mrs. Merrill, but she said that on the way 
over Dora might wear the necklace. 

After Mother had edited that collection of 
clothes, Lucy and Dora packed them very 
easily into one suit-case. When they consid- 
ered that this was to be a camping-trip, it was 
fun to see how much one could get on without. 

Then there was the question of food. 
Mother made a great many cookies, both of 
sugar and molasses, and shut them into tin 
boxes. She also made some cake. 



THE SURPRISE 21 4 

On Friday a pleasant thing happened. The 
man who owned the printing-press where Mr. 
Merrill was foreman, said that he would have 
all their things taken over to the beach in the 
delivery truck belonging to the press. There 
would be room on the driver's seat for Mr. and 
Mrs. Merrill. The little girls could sit on the 
soft baggage in the back of the truck. 

This made it very easy to take whatever they 
wished. Mrs. Merrill wrapped up some more 
blankets and made some more cake. She also 
filled a basket with apples. 

Though they were expecting to find it great 
fun, Lucy and Dora did not ride on the back 
of the truck. Jack Simmons, who lent Uncle 
Dan his tent, had a little Ford car. He of- 
fered to take Olive and Uncle Dan and the two 
children. He would stay and help Uncle Dan 
pitch the tent. 

It was important to have a pleasant day on 



22 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Saturday. All Friday afternoon, while they 
were doing the last things, Lucy and Dora 
kept looking at the sky. Their looking did 
not seem to make any difference, for it did not 
become more blue, nor any less so, no matter 
how hard they gazed. 

One of the very last things was to go to the 
Public Library and choose some books to take 
with them. For, as Mrs. Merrill said, it might 
rain at the beach, and then they would be glad 
of something to read. 

The children did not wish to think of rain, 
but they chose the library books with great 
care. Lucy decided to take " What Katy 
Did," but Dora could not find any book which 
seemed suited to so important an occasion. 
Finally she asked the librarian, Miss Perkins, 
to choose one for her. 

When Miss Perkins knew that the story 
must last a week and was to be read at the 



THE SURPRISE 23 

beach, she agreed that no ordinary book would 
do. She went to a shelf in the back of the 
library and brought Dora the " Story of Doc- 
tor Dolittle." 

" You will like this book very much, Dora," 
she said. " And I think your Uncle Dan will 
like it, too. It is a new book, just put into the 
library, so you will take very good care of it, 
won't you?" 

" Oh, I will ! " said Dora, who had caught 
sight of the funny pictures in the text. " I 
will be very careful of it, Miss Perkins." 

" And is Arcturus going to the beach with 
you? " asked Miss Perkins as she slipped 
" Doctor Dolittle " into an envelope for safe 
traveling. 

Dora explained that Arcturus would benefit 
from sea air, and Miss Perkins at once said that 
it would do him good. 



CHAPTER II 

AT THE BEACH 

THE house where the Merrills lived in 
Westmore was a brown cottage, but it 
seemed large and like a palace when 
the children saw the shack at the beach. Still, 
they liked the shack very much. 

The front room had a couch and chairs, and 
a square table which could be used for eating. 
There was one wee bedroom and the smallest 
kitchen ever seen. That kitchen was hardly so 
large as a good-sized cupboard. Mrs. Merrill 
could stand in its centre and reach everything 
on all four walls. It contained a little sink 
and an oil stove and some dishes, — not a great 
many dishes, but that made fewer to wash. 

The shack stood on a hard sandy ridge, not 

near any other house. Behind, the sand sloped 

24 



AT THE BEACH 25 

to a road where automobiles were always pass- 
ing. In front there was sand that slid around 
under foot, and then a broad hard beach and 
the wonderful ocean. When the children came 
on that sunny Saturday, for it was sunny in 
spite of all their watching the sky, the sea was 
a deep blue, with white fringes on the shore, 
where the waves ran up and then slid back 
again. The sand looked grayish-green, but 
when the water touched it, it turned shiny. 

Dora could not take her eyes off the ocean. 
She forgot that she had wished to see Uncle 
Dan and Jack Simmons put up the tent. 
They pitched it near the shack, on the south 
side, and drove the poles and the pegs in just 
as hard as they could hammer them, so that 
the wind would not loosen the ropes. 

When the tent was up, Dora and Lucy went 
inside. They pulled up all the beach peas 
growing in the enclosed space, so there was 



26 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

only a floor of warm dry sand, soft and fine. 
Mrs. Merrill had brought on the truck some 
rag rugs. These were spread on the clean sand 
and the legs of the cots put on the rugs. If 
this were not done, a cot might tumble down 
when somebody was asleep on it. 

Between the tent poles Uncle Dan stretched 
a rope. This was for Olive and the little girls 
to hang their clothes over. There was not 
much room left when the three cots had been 
set up and a chair brought from the house to 
hold a wash-bowl and pitcher, but Lucy and 
Dora thought it was beautiful. 

" We will keep our suit-cases under the 
beds," said Olive. " And we must be careful 
not to lose little things in this sand." 

It took only a few minutes to get settled in 
the tent. Lucy and Dora put on some old 
rompers they had brought for bathing dresses. 
Olive put on her pretty blue suit and tied a 



AT THE BEACH 27 

blue handkerchief around her hair. Dora 
thought she looked extremely nice. She de- 
cided that when she was twenty, like Olive, she 
would have a blue jersey bathing suit. But 
meantime she liked her rompers very well. 

Such a wonderful beach that was! There 
were not many shells to pick up, but a great 
many interesting pebbles. Almost immedi- 
ately the children found a strange creature, 
shaped like a horse's hoof, but transparent and 
with a long, sharp tail. It seemed quite dead 
and Dora was glad that it was. She really 
would not like to meet it strolling down the 
beach. Olive laughed and said that it was a 
horseshoe crab and would not do her any 
harm. 

Quite soon, Father and Mother Merrill and 
Uncle Dan came out, dressed to go into the 
sea. Lucy and Dora waded in to their waists, 
squealing because the water was so cold. But 



28 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

in just a few minutes it did not seem cold at all, 
and they wanted to stay in all day. 

Mother would not let them. Much sooner 
than they wished, she told them to go out and 
dress. 

" It won't do to stay too long the first time," 
she said. " Put on your old ginghams and you 
may go barefooted and wade all you like, but 
you have been in the water long enough for to- 
day." 

It seemed hard to come out when Uncle Dan 
and Olive were still jumping waves and even 
diving through them, but it would be fun to go 
without shoes or stockings and to run into the 
edge of the water whenever they wished. Be- 
sides, Mother herself came out when they 
did. 

Lucy and Dora dressed quickly. They 
hung their wet clothes on a line which Mother 
stretched from the corner of the shack to the 



AT THE BEACH 29 

rear tent pole. Something was cooking on the 
oil stove which smelled very good. 

" When will dinner be ready? " asked Lucy. 
" I am as hungry as can be." 

" It will be ready before the others are 
dressed," said her mother. " I wish they would 
come out." 

Strange to say, Uncle Dan was willing to 
leave the ocean before Olive. Father Merrill 
grew cold and waded ashore, but Olive did not 
look cold at all. It was Uncle Dan who 
seemed shivery and whose lips turned blue. 
Olive ran into the tent and presently threw 
out her suit. Dora hung it on the line, after 
brushing off what sand she could man- 
age. 

What a funny dinner that was! Nobody 
had more than one spoon, and some of the 
spoons were not a size any one would choose 
to eat with. There were just forks enough to 



30 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

go around and Lucy and Dora had to share a 
knife. But this was only the more sport. 

Olive's hair was wet and tied with a ribbon, 
so she looked like a little girl with it hanging 
down her back. There were not chairs for 
everybody, and Uncle Dan sat on an old crate 
which kept cracking and acting as though it 
were going to break and let him down on the 
floor. But Dan didn't care if it did. 

"Alice Palmer lives in a house somewhere at 
this beach," said Lucy contentedly. " It is 
much more fun to camp." 

After dinner Mrs. Merrill told, them all to 
go down on the beach and she would wash the 
dishes. 

" We will do nothing of the kind," said 
Olive. " You got dinner alone and I shall 
wash the dishes myself and the children will 
wipe them. You will not be allowed in the 
kitchen, Molly Merrill, and indeed, there is not 



AT THE BEACH 31 

room for anybody but Lucy and Dora and 



me." 



" Well! " said Mrs. Merrill, and she put on 
her hat and went down to the edge of the water 
with Father Merrill. 

There was no can for the garbage, so Olive 
gave the dish to Uncle Dan and told him to 
take it down the beach away from all the 
houses and dig a hole and bury it. 

"What for?" asked Dan. "Why not 
throw it out for the gulls to eat? " 

Olive said he was not to do this. The gulls 
might not eat it immediately and the flies 
would collect and it would be unpleasant for 
people who were passing. It must be buried, 
and quite deep at that. 

Lucy and Dora were amused to see Uncle 
Dan go off to bury the garbage just as Olive 
said. But she looked so pretty with her wavy 
hair tied back with the blue ribbon that it 



32 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

was no wonder Uncle Dan did what he was 
told. 

For dinner, they had used every dish in the 
shack, except one big and very black kettle, 
but even then it did not take long to wash them. 
Just for fun, Lucy and Dora counted as they 
wiped. There were precisely forty-three 
dishes, and that included all the spoons and 
knives and forks. 

" Now," said Olive as they finished, " don't 
you think it would be nice to have sandwiches 
for supper and eat them on the beach? " 

Lucy and Dora both thought it would be an 
excellent plan. 

" Then let's go and ask your mother," said 
Olive. " Because if she is willing, we will 
make the sandwiches right now, and then we 
shall not have anything to do for supper except 
eat it." 

Olive and the little girls ran a race to see 



AT THE BEACH 33 

which would first reach Mrs. Merrill. Lucy 
won, because her legs were longer than Dora's 
and, anyway, Dora wasn't trying very hard to 
beat Olive. 

Mrs. Merrill approved of the sandwiches. 
She said that Olive might plan supper exactly 
as she liked. So they ran back to the shack. 

By this time Uncle Dan had buried the gar- 
bage and he helped make the sandwiches. 
Some were filled with peanut butter and some 
with orange marmalade. Olive also boiled six 
eggs, one for each. She wrapped the sand- 
wiches in waxed paper, and put them in a 
basket covered with a damp cloth. She put in 
the eggs and the salt and the pepper, and a loaf 
of cake and a knife to cut it with. She put in 
some peaches and some paper napkins. 

" Our supper is ready," she announced. 
"All we have to do is to come for the basket 
when we want to eat." 



34 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Uncle Dan wanted to walk up the beach to 
see the life-saving station. Olive's hair was 
dry now, so she twisted it up and pinned on a 
pretty hat made of blue silk ribbon. They in- 
vited the little girls to go, but both preferred 
to play in the sand. 

Lucy took a big spoon from the kitchen to 
dig a well, but Dora planned to collect shiny 
white and gray-green pebbles and make a 
house for herself. This she did by outlining 
the walls with pebbles and leaving spaces for 
doors and windows. The beach was so wide 
that there was room for a large house. Quite 
soon Lucy came and began to make herself a 
house next door to Dora's. 

To build the house took a long time, but just 
as it was finished, Dora had a visitor. The tide 
was coming, and the first she knew, old Father 
Ocean ran right in through her front door 
without even so much as knocking! He did 









HHI h**z 




Old father ocean ran right in through the front 
door — Page 34. 



AT THE BEACH 35 

not stay, but ran promptly out again, leaving 
wet marks all over the front hall of Dora's 
new house. 

Dora did not say anything then, but the 
next time a big wave rushed up, the water came 
into her parlor and curled about her bare toes. 

" I shall have to move," she said to Lucy. 

" Or go away until -to-morrow," suggested 
Lucy. " Look! How low the sun is." 

Where had that afternoon gone? It did not 
seem as though they had been playing more 
than a few minutes. But the sea was growing 
gray instead of blue, and the sun struck long 
level lines through the air. Up by the shack 
Father and Mother were enjoying themselves; 
Mother sitting quite idle, just looking at the 
water; Father lying on his back in the sand. 
Away down the beach Olive and Uncle Dan 
were coming. It must be time for that picnic 
supper. 



CHAPTER III 

ABOUT ARCTURUS 

LUCY and Dora thought it was great 
fun to go to bed in the tent. They 
were even willing to undress at their 
usual hour and not tease to be out on the moon- 
lit beach. 

The only place to put their clothes was over 
the rope Uncle Dan had stretched between the 
poles. They hung them there, and the clothes 
immediately slid into a heap in the middle of 
the rope. Dora could not make hers stay 
neatly at one end. 

Olive did not go to bed with the children. 

She and Uncle Dan took the trolley car which 

ran along the road behind the shack and went 

to another beach where there was a Saturday 

night dance. Lucy and Dora did not mind. 

36 



ABOUT ARCTURUS 37 

The window of the room where Father and 
Mother were to sleep was close at the end of 
the tent. 

After Mother had tucked them into their 
cots, Lucy went quickly to sleep but Dora lay 
with eyes wide open. Because of the moon the 
tent was bright, and through its open flaps she 
could see the waves breaking lazily on the 
shore, and hear the surge of the water. Across 
from the moon came a path of light. 

For quite a long time Dora watched the 
sparkles and then suddenly she began to think 
about bears, not tiny silver bears like Arcturus, 
but real ones, full-sized and covered with hair. 
This was not a pleasant thought. 

Dora knew there were no bears anywhere 
near White Beach. Still, it seemed possible 
that one might walk into that open tent. And 
then she heard a rustle outside. 

Dora gave a little gasp. At first, she 



38 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

thought she would call Mother, but she remem- 
bered that she had wanted to sleep in the tent 
and that doing so was a part of camping. To 
be sure, she had not expected that Lucy would 
be asleep when she wasn't. 

After that first gasp, Dora decided not to 
scream. She lay still, and listened hard. In a 
minute, a cricket began to chirp. 

When she heard the cricket, Dora felt much 
better. It surely would not be chirping if a 
bear were walking round the tent. It would 
not dare to make any noise. But she thought 
it would be comforting to have Arcturus for a 
bed-fellow. 

The suit-case was under Lucy's cot, so Dora 
got up and pulled it into the moonlight. 
Without any trouble she found the silver bear 
on his slender chain and snapped it about her 
neck. Then she went back to bed and did not 
think any longer about real bears. 



ABOUT ARCTURUS 39 

Instead, she thought of fairies and of a poem 
she had once read in a library book. She tried 
hard to remember how it went. 

"When the moon shines bright on the pebbly beach 
And the sea is half -asleep; 
Heaving, heaving, evermore, 
And the surf falls lazily along the shore, 
And the whispering ripples creep. 
Then the wet little fairies come out of the waves 
And dance in the light of the moon. 
With gossamer dresses of white sea-foam, 
Brown seaweed sash and coral comb, 
And spottled shells for shoon. ' ' 

While Dora was thinking about the poetry, 
she watched the edge of the sea and thought 
she saw one fairy creep out and shake the spray 
from its wings. She wasn't quite sure, for it 
might have been a sandpiper. When Olive 
came in softly, about midnight, Dora was as 
sound asleep as Lucy. 

Next morning, the sun touched Dora's cot 
rather than either of the others, just as the 



40 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

moon had done. When she opened her eyes, 
the sun was just above the horizon, its lower 
rim not clear from the water. Never before 
had she seen it so tremendous! It looked a 
perfect elephant of a sun. 

A soft little breeze came into the tent, blow- 
ing straight from sea. Sandpipers really were 
running along the edge of the foam and the 
beach was washed hard and smooth. Not a 
trace was left of Dora's house except a huddle 
of the larger pebbles. Every footmark was 
gone. A perfectly new and fresh playground 
lay before them. 

Just then Lucy woke and she and Dora 
looked at the sunrise sky and talked in whis- 
pers because Olive was still asleep. Her hand 
was tucked under one cheek, and a long braid 
of hair lay across her pillow. 

They decided to get up and dress very 
quietly. It was easy to be quiet because the 



ABOUT ARCTURUS 41 

sand under foot muffled every step, and easy to 
be quick because they had very few clothes to 
put on. 

Just as they were dressed, Lucy stopped 
short. " O my!" she said in a whisper, and 
stood on one foot. 

Twisted about her bare toes was a little sil- 
ver chain. 

Dora looked at it. Then she put her hand 
to her neck. Arcturus and his leash were gone. 
That was her silver chain tangled in Lucy's 
toes, but where was the bear? She gave a 
frightened sob, which woke Olive. 

Olive sat up in her cot and looked from one 
to the other. " What's the matter? " she asked. 

Between sobs, Dora explained that she had 
felt lonely after Lucy went to sleep and had 
taken Arcturus into bed with her. When she 
awoke, she never thought of him. There was 
the chain, but where was Arcturus? 



42 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Olive got up at once. She put on her ki- 
mono and her slippers. Then she took the top 
blanket from her bed and spread it carefully 
on the sand. Next, she took Dora's blankets 
and shook them carefully over hers. If 
Arcturus were hiding in the bed, he must come 
out. But he did not. 

Olive shook Dora's pillow and her mattress 
and her nightdress, and felt the pockets of her 
dress and looked in the suit-case. She emptied 
the suit-case and shook every garment. Try- 
ing not to cry, Dora watched Olive and Lucy 
helped her. But Arcturus was not anywhere. 

" I am afraid he is in the sand," said Olive. 
" Show me just where you have walked since 
you got up." 

" I have been right by my cot except when 
I washed myself," choked Dora. 

Olive felt all about in the sand by Dora's 
bed and sifted it through her fingers. Then 



ABOUT ARCTURUS 43 

she sat back against the cot, for she really did 
not know what else to do. She was very sorry 
for Dora, and Dora knew it. She crept into 
Olive's arms and cried softly, so as not to wake 
the people in the shack. 

Arcturus had certainly run away, but after 
her cry Dora felt better. Lucy and Olive both 
were hugging her tightly and though it was 
hard to lose her dear bear, she still had those 
who loved her. 

" Perhaps we shall find him yet," said Olive. 
" Let's think so, Dora, and don't let it spoil 
your nice time at the beach. Perhaps Dan 
will know something more to do. Perhaps 
Arcturus has just gone to be a sand-bear for a 
little while." 

At this Dora smiled through her tears. She 
kissed Olive. Of course it would not be right 
to spoil things by being sad, and she would 
hope for the best. There might be a worse 



44 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

fate for Arcturus than being a jolly little sand- 
bear. 

So they all got up from the rag rugc and 
Lucy picked up Olive's pretty rose-trimmed 
hat which had slipped from the nail where she 
tried to hang it. 

" You might put that under my cot, Lucy," 
said Olive. " It won't stick on that nail, and 
I don't believe I shall wear it here. I like my 
ribbon one better for the beach." 

Lucy tucked the hat under Olive's bed and 
then she and Dora went down on the shore. 
Olive said that she knew it would be hard for 
Dora to speak about Arcturus, so she would do 
it for her. She would ask the others not to say 
very much about him, only to look for him 
everywhere they went. 

This made it easier for Dora to come to 
breakfast. She could even smile when they 
all called her Theodora. Usually, only 



ABOUT ABC TUBUS 45 

Mother remembered that on Sundays she 
wished to have her whole name used. This 
morning even Uncle Dan thought about 
it. 

The tide was going out, and away to the 
right were some shining mud-flats. Uncle 
Dan and Olive said they were going to dig 
clams and Lucy and Dora went with them to 
pick up the clams after they were dug. There 
was only one clam-fork, but Mr. Merrill found 
an old spade which he thought he could use. 
They all put on their bathing suits. 

When Dora reached the clam-flat, she did 
not like it very well. She had not known that 
clams chose to live in such queer mud. It 
seemed much dirtier than ordinary wet earth, 
and after Dora and Lucy had sunk into it far 
above their ankles, they told Olive that they 
would let her pick up the clams. If she needed 
help, she might call, and they would come, but 



46 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

it did not look as though three people would 
be needed to collect clams for Father and 
Uncle Dan. 

Olive thought she could manage all the 
clams, so Lucy and Dora went back to the 
hard beach and made some more houses. 
Lucy's had a great many large rooms and long 
halls with plenty of windows. Dora made a 
small one which was just like the brown cot- 
tage she lived in on Main Street. 

Father and Uncle Dan heard what Olive 
and the children were saying about the clams, 
and so they dug very hard and very fast. The 
clams were not so many that Olive needed help 
to pick them up, but there were plenty for a 
chowder and for steaming, which was much 
more than either she or Mrs. Merrill had ex- 
pected. They decided to have the steamed 
clams for dinner and to make the chowder for 
supper. 



ABOUT ARCTURUS 47 

When the clams were dug, Mr. Merrill car- 
ried the basket home and Lucy and Dora saw 
Uncle Dan and Olive conitng up the beach. 
Olive was carrying a heavy shovel and Uncle 
Dan had a queer-looking thing over his shoul- 
der. Even when he came up to the shack the 
children did not know what the thing could be. 
It was a large oblong frame of wood, with a 
wire screen bottom, and was tilted up on one 
end. 

" We are going to look for Arcturus," said 
Olive, as Uncle Dan dumped the frame beside 
the tent. " Some men have been getting 
gravel from the ridge and using this. We 
have borrowed it for a little while." 

Neither Lucy nor Dora could guess how 
this frame was to help find the silver bear. 
Uncle Dan and Olive took out of the tent the 
three cots and the single chair. Olive shook 
each rag rug carefully. 



48 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Then Uncle Dan carried the frame into the 
tent. He set it up and lifted a shovelful of 
sand and threw it against the screen bottom. 
All the sand went straight through, but the 
pebbles, even some smaller than Arcturus, fell 
back in a pile. It would not be possible for 
Arcturus to go through that wire screening. 

Uncle Dan took every single bit of loose 
sand from the space covered by the tent, and 
threw it against the screen. Olive and Lucy 
and Dora watched the pebbles which fell back. 
Arcturus could not escape three pairs of eyes. 
But finally there was no more loose sand, only 
a kind of stiff dry clay, and no Arcturus. 

Dora tried hard not to cry but she felt much 
grieved. It did not seem possible that the bear 
could evade a search like that. She managed 
to thank Uncle Dan, who was as sorry as Olive 
that it had been of no use. They smoothed the 
sand floor and Uncle Dan returned the screen 



ABOUT ABCTURUS 49 

and the shovel. No, there was nothing left but 
to think of Arcturus as being a sand-bear now, 
enjoying himself by the sea. 

Then they went swimming, and how Uncle 
Dan and Father Merrill did laugh at Olive. 
Olive said that it was Sunday morning and 
that she usually went to church instead of into 
the ocean. She should take with her a cake of 
salt-water soap and call it a bath. She wasn't 
sure it was quite right to go swimming just for 
fun. She should feel more comfortable about 
it if she took the soap. 

Mrs. Merrill did not laugh at Olive. She 
said she was glad that Olive liked to keep Sun- 
day different from other days. 



CHAPTER IV 

FRIENDS PROM HOME 

DURING all that week at White Beach 
it rained only a part of one afternoon. 
Both " Doctor Dolittle " and " Katy " 
stayed shut into Mother's suit-case. After the 
mishap to Arcturus, nothing precious was 
trusted in the tent. Even on the day the rain 
fell, the air was so warm and soft that Lucy 
and Dora played on the shore just the same 
and thought the sprinkles only the more fun. 

Every day people passed up and down the 
beach. Sometimes they were children who 
would stop and help Lucy and Dora build a 
sand fort or run races with them in the edge 
of the water. Sometimes they had a collection 
of pebbles to be admired, or a sea-urchin picked 

up in the sand. These were considered great 

50 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 51 

treasures. Some were worn smooth by the 
waves, and some — but these were fewer — still 
had long green spines sticking to their shells. 

Except for the friendly children, Lucy and 
Dora paid very little attention to the pass- 
ers-by. They could see as many people as 
they wished in Westmore, but in Westmore 
there were no gulls and no beach and no sea. 

One afternoon Dora did look up when a 
gentleman on horseback came down the shore. 
The horse was the color of a bright chestnut 
and his hair reflected the sun. Somebody must 
have brushed that horse extremely hard to 
make him so shiny. 

Dora looked at the horse and Lucy looked at 
the rider and presently Lucy smiled a little. 

The gentleman glanced at the children and 
smiled also. " Aren't you Mr. Merrill's little 
girls?" he asked. 

At this Dora looked up. It was Alice 



52 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Harper's father. They often saw him in 
church. 

Mr. Harper made the pretty horse stop. 
He asked Lucy where they were staying. He 
looked at the shack and at the tent beside 
it. 

" And do you sleep in the tent? " he asked. 
Lucy explained that they did. 

" Alice has wanted to sleep in one this sum- 
mer, but her mother wasn't willing. I know 
it is great fun. I will tell Alice that you are 
here and I think she will be down to see you. 
Our house is the other side of the life-saving 
station." 

Mr. Harper and the shiny horse went on 
along the beach. Dora watched for some time. 
The horse walked down by the water where the 
sand was hard, but whenever a wave came curl- 
ing in, he danced up the beach. Evidently he 
did not like to get his feet wet. 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 53 

When the children went up to supper they 
told Mrs. Merrill about their visitor. 

" He had a very pretty horse. It shone like 
a bottle," said Dora. 

" Do you think Alice will come to see us? " 
asked Lucy. 

" I wouldn't set my heart on it," said Mrs. 
Merrill. 

" Mrs. Harper is always very nice to every- 
body in the church," said Olive, who was trying 
to make toast over the oil stove and was not 
succeeding very well. 

" I know she is," agreed Mrs. Merrill. 
" But church isn't the beach, and people who 
live in big houses don't always want to know 
people who live in small ones." 

Olive burned a slice of bread and gave a 
little moan over it, so Dora forgot to ask just 
what Mother meant. She felt quite sure that 
Alice would come. Of course, her father 



54 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

might forget to tell her. Fathers did some- 
times forget very important things, like posting 
letters and giving messages and bringing home 
yeast-cakes. 

Lucy also thought that Alice would come, 
and they were not disappointed. The very 
next afternoon, which was Friday, while they 
were playing on the beach, Alice came, and 
Mrs. Harper with her. Alice stopped with 
the children and Mrs. Harper went straight 
to the shack to speak with Mrs. Merrill and 
Olive. Father and Uncle Dan had gone fish- 
ing. 

Alice asked a great many questions. She 
wished to know how long they had been there, 
how long they were going to stay, and why 
they had not been to see her. 

It was easy to answer the first question and 
the second answered itself, because school be- 
gan the next Monday and the printing-press 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 55 

started work again, but the third question was 
not so easy. 

" We did not know where your house was," 
said Lucy at last. 

" You could have asked," said Alice. 
" There are no girls my age anywhere near 
me. I have had nobody to play with all sum- 
mer but babies and boys. The babies are 
very well for a time, but they can't do much 
but dig holes in the sand, and I don't like 
the boys at all. They do horrible things, 
like putting crabs in shoes and dead fish in 
playhouses." 

" Girls are nicer to play with," said Lucy. 
" Would you like to make a pebble house, 
Alice, or would you like to wade? " 

" I would like to go into your tent," said 
Alice eagerly. 

The children took Alice up to the tent, 
which she admired very much. " What fun 



56 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

it must be! " she said. " I wish I could sleep 
here with you just one night." 

Lucy and Dora began to wonder if this 
could be planned. It did not seem easy, for 
there was not room for another cot, even if 
there were one to bring from the house. It 
would be hard to find space for even a doll's 
bed. As it was, Lucy's doll had to sleep with 
her. Dora's Teddy wore a fur coat and he sat 
up all night. It would not be polite to ask 
Olive to give Lucy her cot, and there was no 
place for her to sleep if she did. There seemed 
no way to make Alice's wish come true. 

When the children came out of the tent, they 
saw Mrs. Merrill on the porch with her hat on 
and a coat over her arm. 

" Goody! " said Alice. " Mother was going 
to ask your mother if she didn't want to go 
over to the Port in the motor-boat. We are 
going, too." 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 57 

What a pleasant surprise this was! Lucy 
and Dora thought it very kind of Mrs. Har- 
per. They had half envied Father and Uncle 
Dan their trip. 

Everybody walked up the beach beyond the 
life-saving station where the boats lay ready 
to be launched the moment they were needed. 
Ships need help sometimes as well as people, 
and these boats were always waiting for a call 
from sea. 

Beyond the station lay a row of pretty 
houses on a curving strip of land which ran 
around a big bay. Across, was the town which 
Alice called the Port. 

Mrs. Harper took them up on the porch of 
her cottage and gave them some lemonade and 
cookies. She brought out the pitcher herself 
and Alice brought the glasses. It tasted very 
good because there was no ice at the shack to 
keep things cool. 



58 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

After drinking the lemonade they went 
down to the boat-house where a man helped 
them into the motor-boat. Lucy and Dora had 
been around World's End Pond in a launch, 
but this one was much more trim and tidy and 
went through the water much faster. Its 
boards were very white and all the brass shone 
and it plunged right at each wave as though 
it were going to dive through rather than sit 
on top. 

Dora became very quiet. The foam flew on 
either side, and the waves were as blue as 
Mother's blueing water, but on the whole she 
liked the pond better than the sea. For one 
thing, there was not so much of it. 

Lucy and Alice went forward in the launch. 
Alice wanted to sit on the roof of the little 
cabin. Mrs. Harper said she might if the man 
at the wheel thought it was safe. 

" Safe as lying in a cradle," said the man, 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 59 

so Lucy and Alice climbed up where they could 
get all the wind that blew. 

" Don't you want to go with them? " Mrs. 
Harper asked Dora. 

" No, thank you," said Dora shyly. She was 
sitting next Olive and presently she cuddled so 
close that Olive understood and put an arm 
around her. 

Before long the waves grew even larger and 
some of them broke over the bow of the launch. 
Alice and Lucy were spattered with spray and 
both gave little shrieks. 

"Don't you feel well, Dora?" asked Olive 
in a whisper. " Don't you want to go to the 
Port?" 

" I'd rather go on land," said Dora. u Any 
land." 

Dora spoke softly but Mrs. Harper heard. 
" Poor child ! " she said. " And I thought she 
would enjoy a ride." 



60 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

Mrs. Harper opened a locker, which was a 
cupboard under the seat, and took out a big 
soft shawl. She spread it on the seat and told 
Dora to lie down. 

Dora was extremely glad to feel herself on 
something flat. She shut her eyes and kept 
still while Mother and Mrs. Harper wrapped 
her in the rug. Then Mrs. Harper spoke to 
the man at the wheel. He turned the launch in 
a different direction so that the bow did not hit 
the waves quite so hard. 

It seemed a long time to Dora before they 
were back at the boat-house. The launch had 
been out only about an hour, but she thought it 
was the whole afternoon. Alice and Lucy 
thought it was about ten minutes. 

Just as soon as she stepped ashore, Dora 
began to feel better, and she did not really 
need the hot soup which Mrs. Harper insisted 
she should drink. By the time they were home 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 61 

at the little shack, Dora could hardly believe 
that she had not enjoyed the trip. 

" But would you like to go again in the 
launch? " asked Olive. 

No, Dora would not go so far as to say that. 
She felt surprised and hurt, that the sea which 
looked so lovely, could make her feel so dis- 
agreeable. 

When the fishermen came they brought with 
them five fish. Four were ordinary plain fish 
such as the children often saw at the market, 
but the fifth one, which Uncle Dan had caught, 
was much longer and broader and looked 
strange. Dora at once asked Uncle Dan its 
name. 

" I think it is a walrus," said Dan gravely. 

Lucy looked respectfully at the fish but 
Dora looked at Uncle Dan. Though his face 
was quite unsmiling, there was a twinkle in his 
eyes. 



62 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" It must be a walrus," he went on, " because 
I am a carpenter, you see." 

Lucy didn't " see " at all, but Dora laughed 
in delight. Of course it must be a walrus. She 
remembered the poem perfectly. 

"The Walrus and the Carpenter 

Were walking close at hand; 

They wept like anything to see 

Such quantities of sand: 
* If this were only cleared away, ' 
They said, ' it would be grand ! ' 

" 'If seven maids with seven mops 
Swept it for half a year, 
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said, 

1 That they could get it clear ? ' 
'I doubt it,' said the Carpenter, 
And shed a bitter tear." 

Dora laughed hard at Uncle Dan waving the 
fish and pretending to wipe his eyes. Olive 
understood and laughed also, but Lucy and 
Mrs. Merrill didn't understand the joke at all. 

Then the fishermen were told about the 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 63 

launch trip and Dora was rather sorry they had 
to know that she did not enjoy it. But she felt 
comforted when Father confided to her that 
he did not like the motion of the boat himself. 

" It was all right as long as we kept mov- 
ing," he said, " but when we anchored to fish, I 
felt as though my dinner wasn't to be depended 
upon." 

" I know just how you felt," said Dora 
earnestly. " I grew so jiggly that my stomach 
came up on top of me." 

And the very next day they had to go home. 
The truck was to come over early in the after- 
noon and everything must be ready. Uncle 
Dan and Olive were going back by trolley and 
they said they would take the children, but 
Lucy and Dora decided to ride on the truck. 

For that last dinner they had another chow- 
der, because it was easy to make and to heat 
when there was not a great deal of time for 



64 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

cooking. And it was odd how easy the pack- 
ing seemed. Scarcely five minutes were 
needed to tuck into the suit-case the clothes it 
had taken so long to choose. The cookies and 
cake and apples were all eaten. 

Only, as Dora folded the last rug and looked 
around the empty tent, ready now to be taken 
down, she thought of Arcturus and the tears 
came to her eyes. She did not mean anybody 
to see them, because they had all been so kind. 
Mother had not said one word about her being 
careless and Lucy offered to give back the pink 
coral heart Dora had lent to her. But when 
the tent was all pulled to pieces, the thought 
of her dear bear was more than she could stand. 
Olive saw her wipe away a tear and put an 
arm around her. 

" I am so sorry, Dora," she said. " Indeed, 
if I could, I would get you another bear." 

" It wouldn't be Arcturus," choked Dora. 



FRIENDS FROM HOME 65 

" No," agreed Olive, " but it might be his 
twin brother. I don't suppose it would be pos- 
sible to buy one in this country, and I shall 
never be lucky enough to go to Switzerland. 
But I am thinking you a little bear, Dora. 
Can't you feel him growing? " 

Dora pretended she could, and when she 
came out of the tent, nobody could have sus- 
pected any tears. But as they left White 
Beach, her last look was not for the sea nor 
the sky nor the gulls, nor the goldenrod and 
asters along the sandhills, but for the place 
where the tent had stood, and in her heart she 
was hoping that Arcturus would be very happy 
in his new life by the shore. 



CHAPTER V 

WIEN SCHOOL BEGINS 

TIMOTHY was glad to see Lucy and 
Dora come home. He looked fat, and 
Marion Baker said he had slept in the 
kitchen every night but one. On Wednesday 
evening he chose to visit his friends. But 
Timmy had evidently been lonesome, for he 
purred loudly and followed the children up to 
their room. As soon as the suit-case was 
opened, he got into it to see whether they had 
brought anything for him. Dora had done so. 
There was in the suit-case a stalk of catnip 
for Timothv. 

Some mail and papers were at the house and 
when Mother looked over the letters there was 
one for Dora from Miss Chandler, whom she 

called Aunt Margaret. 

66 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 6? 

Dora planned to ^answer the letter on Sun- 
day. There was much to tell about the beach. 
Only, when she began to write, she thought of 
Arcturus and felt quite sad. When she spoke 
of him, Mother suggested that Dora should tell 
Miss Chandler how Arcturus had run away. 
It was right that she should know, because she 
gave Dora the little bear. 

To write about it in a letter was easier than 
speaking of it when she saw Miss Chandler, so 
Dora wrote what had happened and how sorry 
she was. Then she told her about the nice 
time at the beach, and what fun it was to sleep 
in a tent, and how she and Lucy rode home 
sitting on a roll of blankets in the back of the 
truck. 

When the letter was finished, Mother looked 
at it. She told Dora about one word which 
was spelled wrong and said that the writing 
looked neat. Then she told Dora how to di- 



68 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

rect the envelope and gave her a postage stamp 
from Father's desk. 

Dora stuck the stamp on the proper corner 
and put the letter in the box on the post by 
Mr. Giddings' drug-store. Then she came 
back to the house and read the " Story of Doc- 
tor Dolittle." She thought it was one of the 
most interesting and funniest stories she had 
ever read. She tried to have Lucy enjoy it, 
but Lucy liked " What Katy Did " better. 

After supper that Sunday night, Dora fol- 
lowed Mother into her bedroom. 

" I have a plan," she said. " Mother, you 
know Aunt Margaret told me that her birth- 
day is the same as mine. Both are next Fri- 
day. I would very much like to make her a 
birthday present, Mother. You see she gave 
me Arcturus and the other little charms. And 
anyway, it would be nice, because she was so 
kind to us in the vacation school." 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 69 

Mrs. Merrill thought this was a nice plan. 
She asked Dora what she wanted to give Miss 
Chandler. 

" I have twenty-five cents," said Dora, 
" which I earned picking blackberries. I 
thought I could buy her some paper to write 
letters on." 

" I think," said Mrs. Merrill, " that Miss 
Chandler would like better a gift which you 
made for her. You know you did some cross- 
stitching for the bedspread this summer. 
Haven't you still the paper with the pattern 
showing the colored squares? " 

Yes, Dora still had the paper pattern of the 
roses. 

" I am going to the city to-morrow," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " Would you like me to buy a 
bit of the canvas they use for cross-stitching, 
and four skeins of colored cotton? Then you 
could make a pincushion for Miss Chandler 



70 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

with the cross-stitched roses on it. I have a 
piece of pretty white linen you may use for the 
top, and I will help you put the cushion to- 
gether. Don't you think that would be a nice 
present? " 

Dora was perfectly delighted with Mother's 
plan. She begged her to find the piece of white 
linen at once, and when she saw it, she was sure 
that it would make an unusual cushion. She 
was so afraid that Mother would forget what 
an important errand that canvas was, that she 
took a pencil and wrote it down on a piece of 
paper and stuck the paper into Mother's purse, 
where she could not fail to see it. 

Next morning school began. Lucy and 
Dora were glad, for both liked to go to school. 
Lucy was one grade ahead of Dora and so 
each year, Dora had the teacher Lucy was 
leaving. Because she heard Lucy talk about 
them at home, she felt acquainted immediately, 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 71 

and it was not hard to change into a higher 
grade. 

This year Lucy was sorry to leave Miss 
Leger, and she was not sure she should like 
Miss Scott, into whose room she was going. 
Some of the older girls did not like her. 

While Mother was tying their hair-ribbons, 
Lucy spoke to her about it. Mother did not 
think Miss Scott would be cross. 

" If you learn your lessons, Lucy, and be- 
have yourself as well as you should do, your 
teacher will not be cross. It is only sick 
or naughty children who can't get on at 
school. ,, 

Lucy admitted that Mother's advice 
sounded sensible, and she and Dora started for 
school. Lucy had on a white waist, which had 
buttoned to it a pink plaid kilted skirt. On 
the waist was a collar of the pink plaid ging- 
ham. When Mother planned that dress, Lucy 



12 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

did not think she should like it, but now the 
dress was made, she liked it very much. 

Dora wore a new dress, too. Hers was a 
loose blue gingham which was smocked at the 
shoulders and had a round white collar. They 
both wore socks and sneakers, because Mother 
thought best to save their leather shoes for 
colder weather. 

All the children seemed glad to come back to 
school. All the little girls wore clean crisp 
dresses, slipped on five minutes before they 
started for the schoolhouse. All the little boys 
had clean shirt-waists and their hair brushed 
back very hard and very wet. 

The children went into the rooms belonging 
to their new grades. Lucy hoped to get a 
back seat in a row of desks, for all the girls 
considered the back seats the most desirable. 
Lucy didn't get the seat she wanted, but the 
one she did get was the third from the back, 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 73 

and beside a window, so that was not so 
bad. 

Dora didn't care where she sat, and this was 
lucky, because Miss Leger told the children to 
stand, and then arranged them according to 
how tall they were, with the smallest ones in 
front. This put Dora in the first seat of all, 
but she liked it as well as any other. 

Everything went well until recess and then 
an accident happened to Dora. The little girls 
were playing tag on the grassy grounds about 
the schoolhouse. The older girls were walking 
up and down with arms around each other's 
waists, talking of the many things which had 
happened during the long vacation. 

Dora was playing with five other little girls 
and running as fast as she could when sud- 
denly something hit her hard and everything 
turned black. 

The next Dora knew she was lying flat on 



74 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

the soft grass and Lucy was holding her hand 
and one of the big girls was putting water on 
her face. And ever so many girls were stand- 
ing around and looking at her. 

" What is the matter? " asked Dora. 
"What hit me?" 

" You and Marion Baker ran into each 
other," said the big girl who was mopping her 
face. 

Dora thought this odd. She had not even 
seen Marion. How queer that she could run 
into a person whom she didn't see ! 

The next second Dora discovered that her 
lip was cut and bleeding. It hurt worse than 
her head and the blood was dropping on the 
pretty blue dress which had been so fresh and 
clean that morning. 

When the littler girls saw the blood-stains, 
they were frightened. Some of them ran to 
tell Miss Leger that Dora was hurt. 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 75 

Miss Leger came out at once. She bathed 
Doras lip and found that there was only a 
small cut. It was very small to produce so 
many drops of blood. She told Dora to hold 
the wet cloth against it. Then she looked at 
Marion, who had a big bump on her forehead. 

For a time both Dora and Marion felt very 
sorry for themselves, but in a few minutes 
Marion's head stopped aching and Dora's lip 
no longer shed bright drops of blood. They 
could even think it funny that with all that 
big school-yard, both should have tried to stand 
in the same place at the same second. 

Lucy was disturbed about Dora's dress. It 
looked worse than Dora could see. Mother 
was shopping and would not be at home until 
afternoon school was over. Lucy did not know 
what was best to do about the dress. 

Luckily Father knew. He was sorry that 
Dora's lip was cut, but glad she was not badly 



7G THE CHINESE KITTEN 

hurt. He said that Dora had better take off 
the dress and put it to soak in cold water. He 
was sure that cold water would not hurt it and 
that it would be safe to leave it soaking until 
Mother came and decided what should be done 
to it next. He asked Dora if she did not have 
another clean dress. 

Yes, there was a clean dress, but not per- 
fectly new, like the blue gingham. Dora was 
sorry to change, but she saw that even a dress 
which wasn't brand-new looked more tidy than 
one dribbled with red spots. She took off the 
spotted one and Lucy buttoned the other and 
they went back to school. 

When they were through at four, Mrs. Mer- 
rill was at home. She had attended to the blue 
gingham and it was hanging on the line, just 
as clean as ever. Of course she wanted to 
know about the spots. 

Lucy and Dora told her about them and then 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 77 

Dora asked anxiously if Mother found the note 
in her purse and if she remembered to buy the 
canvas and the colored cottons. 

Mrs. Merrill had remembered. There was 
a piece of canvas and two shades of green cot- 
ton and two of pink. They had cost seventeen 
cents. 

Dora ran to bring Mother her quarter, for 
she wanted to pay for them so that her gift to 
Aunt Margaret should be entirely hers. Mrs. 
Merrill gave her eight cents in change. 

" And will you fix the top of the cushion so 
I can begin on it right away? " she asked. 

" I can't do it just this minute," said Mrs. 
Merrill, " because I have to cook something for 
supper. I will try to do it early this evening." 

" Dora and I will wash the dishes and do all 
the clearing away, so you can have plenty of 
time," offered Lucy. 

After supper, Mrs. Merrill sat down with 



78 TEE CEINESE KITTEN 

the pattern and the cross-stitch canvas and the 
linen for the cushion top. She measured and 
planned carefully. She basted the canvas in 
the proper place so it could not slip while Dora 
was working. She made one cross-stitch so 
Dora could start easily. 

When the last dish was put away, Dora 
came eagerly to see the cushion. From the one 
stitch Mother had set, it was easy to follow the 
pattern and she sat down at once to sew. Be- 
fore bedtime, the roses and their leaves were 
made and she was ready to pull out the canvas. 

Mother showed her how to do this, just one 
thread at a time. They were stiff and hurt her 
fingers, but she kept on and soon the linen top 
with its design of roses lay before her. 

" You have done the pretty part now," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " The rest will be plain sewing, 
but you must set every stitch as well as you 
possibly can. I want Miss Chandler to think 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 79 

that you work neatly. I will baste it for 

you." 

" I will try very hard," said Dora. " I sup- 
pose I couldn't begin that part this evening? " 

"No," said Mrs. Merrill. "Tell Father 
good-night, and then you and Lucy run up to 
bed. When you are ready, knock on the floor 
and I will come and put out the light." 

Both Lucy and Dora laughed at forgetful 
Mother. Almost always she said that when 
they were going to bed. It sounded all right 
any time, and it was all right in winter, when 
there really was a light to put out. But in 
September, with daylight-saving time, there 
was twilight when they went to bed. What 
Mother meant was that she would come and 
kiss them and see that the window was open 
and their clothes properly picked up. 

Next day Dora back-stitched the case for the 
cushion and filled it with some old knitting 



80 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

wool which she snipped into tiny pieces. Dora 
was surprised to learn from Mother that pins 
stick much better into a cushion stuffed with 
wool. It is no use to stuff one with cotton. 

Next, the embroidered top was pressed, and 
this Dora did herself after Mother had finished 
ironing. Mother basted the top and bottom 
together and Dora sewed the edges over and 
over. She tried so hard to make the stitches 
even and small that her cheeks grew pink and 
she felt hot all over. Into each stitch she sewed 
a loving thought for Miss Chandler. 

When the cushion was done, Mother said 
that it looked very neat and Lucy thought it 
was beautiful. She liked it so much that Dora 
had another idea. If Mother would help her, 
she would make a second cushion for Lucy's 
Christmas present. There was plenty of cot- 
ton for more roses and there were canvas and 
linen, too. Perhaps it might be possible to 



WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS 81 

make one for Olive. To make three pretty 
gifts and have them cost but seventeen cents 
would be a good deal for a little girl to accom- 
plish. 

Dora could hardly wait until Lucy left the 
room before asking M other about the other 
cushions. Mrs. Merrill said at once that she 
would help. They would be desirable Christ- 
mas presents for both Lucy and Olive. 

Dora found a clean empty candy-box into 
which the cushion fitted exactly. She wrapped 
it neatly in tissue paper and put in a card so 
Miss Chandler would know from whom it 
came. 

" You might tell her that you made it your- 
self," suggested Mother, who was now darning 
Uncle Dan's socks. 

So Dora put on the card : " I made it my- 
self." Then she thought a moment and wrote 
some more: " All but one stitch which Mother 



82 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

made so I could get the roses in the middle. 
And the bastings. She sewed those, but they 
are all pulled out." 

Mother smiled a little over Dora's card, but 
she said that it would do, and that she thought 
Dora was improving in her writing. Then 
Dora wrapped the box in brown paper and di- 
rected it to Miss Chandler in Boston. She de- 
cided to pay the postage with her eight cents. 
Then there would be nothing about the gift not 
wholly hers. 



CHAPTER VI 

DORA'S BIRTHDAY 

THE seventeenth of September was 
Dora's birthday. On Thursday night 
she went to bed expecting to feel quite 
different when she waked in the morning and 
was nine instead of eight. But she didn't. She 
felt just the same. 

The day was bright and sunny but cold. 
Lucy looked out to see whether there had been 
a frost. So far as she could see, nothing was 
touched in the garden. Even the nasturtiums, 
which get discouraged and turn black if the 
thermometer casts a glance toward the freez- 
ing-point, were looking as alert and cheerful as 
usual. 

When the children were dressed, they ran 
83 



84 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

down-stairs. Lucy went into the kitchen to 
help Mother. Dora sat down in the parlor 
and tried to read. The birthday girl never 
helped about breakfast. She didn't even come 
near the table till she was called. 

Dora simply couldn't read. She knew there 
was to be a surprise and she wanted to think 
how pleasant it would be. Out in the kitchen 
she could hear Lucy whispering to Mother and 
then came a rustle of paper as though some- 
body was arranging soft packages. 

" Breakfast is ready," called Lucy at last. 
" All right for you to come, Dora." 

Dora didn't need to be called but once. No- 
body does on a birthday morning. 

She saw that her plate was covered with 
bundles, and then she had to hide because 
Uncle Dan said that her nose must be buttered 
and that she should have nine spanks, and one 
to grow on. 



DORA'S BIRTHDAY 85 

Dora had to dodge around the table till 
Mother told Uncle Dan to sit down and behave 
properly. Uncle Dan put down the butter- 
knife and Dora let him catch her and give her 
ten love pats and a big hug. 

Then Father kissed her, and Mother said if 
they wasted any more time the children would 
be late for school and Father and Uncle Dan 
would be late for work. 

Dora sat down at her place and picked up 
the first package. It was fat and not a bit 
heavy. She opened it to find some yarn, 
soft, and of the prettiest blue you can 
imagine. Dora didn't know it, but it was the 
color of her eyes. 

" That is to make you a sweater," said 
Mother. " I am going to knit one like Mary 
Burton's. You said you liked hers so much." 

Dora was delighted. She kissed Mother and 
looked very happy. 



86 TEE CEINESE KITTEN 

" My old sweater is growing so small," she 
said. " Will you knit it soon, Mother? " 

" I will begin it this evening," said Mrs. 
Merrill. " I want some work to pick up after 
supper." 

" It is the color I like best," said Dora, and 
she opened another package. 

This was from Olive and it contained two 
new hair-ribbons. One was blue and exactly 
matched the sweater yarn. The other was 
pink. Dora liked them both. 

The next package was small and heavy and 
Dora wondered what it could be. It was a 
paint-box with paints of all the different colors 
that any picture could possibly need. This 
was from Uncle Dan, and Dora went straight 
and hugged him. 

" How did you know I wanted a paint- 
box? " she asked. " I wanted it very much and 
I didn't expect to have one." 



DORA'S BIRTHDAY 87 

" A little bird told me," said Dan promptly. 

" I guess it was an Olive-bird," laughed 
Dora. " I don't remember telling anybody 
but Olive how much I wanted one." 

Lucy was eager for Dora to open her gift. 
Dora thought it was lovely. It was a roll of 
colored papers and paper lace, for making hats 
and dresses for paper dolls. Such a gift was 
most desirable for work on winter evenings. 

Now two packages were left, one of which 
had come through the mail. Dora opened the 
other first. This was from Father and was a 
copy of " Alice in Wonderland." 

Dora loved that story. She had borrowed 
it many times from the Public Library and 
never expected to have a copy of her own. Fa- 
ther explained that he had a chance to buy it 
through the printing-press and knew she 
would like it. 

" There is another part to my present," he 



88 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

said. " Next week there is to be a good film 
at the movies, * Anne of Green Gables/ 
You and Lucy and Mother are to see the after- 
noon performance." 

Lucy and Dora both had to hug Father now. 
It was not often that Mother let them go to 
the movie theatre. She thought the pictures 
were not as nice as books. It would be great 
fun to see " Anne," and all the more fun to 
know about it so long before. 

Now there was one package left to open, but 
under it were two post-cards and a letter. One 
card was from Mr. Thorne, the rector of the 
church where the Merrills went and where 
Uncle Dan sang in the choir. The other was 
from Miss Page, Dora's Sunday school 
teacher. Both had remembered to send a 
birthday greeting. 

The letter and the package were from Miss 
Chandler. Dora took off the outer wrapper of 



DORA'S BIRTHDAY 89 

the package and found a candy-box, much like 
the one her pincushion had gone traveling in. 
But no candy, unless made of sea-foam, could 
be so light as that box. When she opened it, 
nothing showed but tissue paper. 

Very carefully, Dora pulled this out and in 
the middle, wrapped in bright red paper so she 
could not fail to see it, was a small box, tied 
with white ribbon. When she opened it Dora 
gave a gasp. She was so surprised that she 
could not speak. 

Inside the box was a little thing rolled in 
cotton, and when Dora's trembling fingers took 
it out, it was another charm for her to wear on 
her silver chain. 

This charm was a tiny kitten, about three- 
quarters of an inch high. Unless it had upset 
a blueing bottle, no earthly kitten was ever that 
color. This one was deep blue, and it didn't 
seem to be made either of glass or metal. Its 



90 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

pointed ears gave it a surprised look and its 
kitten face wore a pleasant expression. About 
its neck was a silver collar with a ring at the 
back to slip on a chain. About its feet its tail 
coiled tight as though to keep its paws from 
scattering. Anybody could see that it was an 
unusual kitten. Dora felt sure it must have a 
story. 

" The letter is from Miss Chandler," said 
Mother. " If you open it, Dora, it may tell 
you where the little cat came from. I suppose 
it is something she brought from Europe." 

The kitten had come from even farther than 
Europe ! Dora read the letter aloud. 

" Dear Little Dora: 

"Many happy returns of your birth- 
day! I hope you may have the nicest possible 
time. I am sorry Arcturus was so ungrateful 
as to run away from his kind mistress, but you 
know bears are wild at heart. I am sending 
you another pet in his place, one which I hope 
will be willing to stay at home. This is a 



DORA'S BIRTHDAY 91 

Chinese kitten which came from the city of 
Hong Kong. If you drop it, it will not break 
because it is made of stained ivory. 

" Since you named your bear for a star,. per- 
haps you may like a star name for this kitten. 
Would you like to call it Vega? That is the 
name of a brilliant star which in summer is al- 
most directly overhead. I am sure your uncle 
will help you find it. It is a srtar which shines 
with a blue light, so its name is suited to a blue 
kitten." 

Dora was delighted that the blue kitten 
should be named for a blue star. She stopped 
to say so before finishing the letter. 

" I wanted to spend our birthday together, 
but I have to teach all day. So I made another 
plan which Mother will tell you." 

Dora at once turned to Mother. " I will tell 
you when you have eaten your porridge," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " Your breakfast is getting 
cold, Dora. Eat your oatmeal and drink your 
milk." 

" No eat — no go," said Uncle Dan. 



92 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" Dan, keep still," said Mrs. Merrill. " Be- 
gin to eat, Dora." 

Dora was too happy to feel hungry, but she 
knew the oatmeal must go down and that she 
must eat an egg and a slice of toast. When 
she had almost finished, Mrs. Merrill told the 
plan. 

" I had a letter, too, from Miss Chandler," 
she said. " She has invited you and Lucy to 
come into Boston to-morrow morning and stay 
with her until Sunday afternoon." 

" Mother! May we? " exclaimed Lucy and 
Dora in one breath. 

" I never went to Boston but twice in my 
life," said Lucy. 

" I never visited anybody over night," said 
Dora and then they both said, " Mother, do 
let us!" 

" Father and I are willing you should go," 
replied Mrs. Merrill. " Miss Chandler sent a 



DORA'S BIRTHDAY 93 

dollar to pay for your tickets, and Father will 
put you on the eight o'clock train and Miss 
Chandler will meet you in the North Station." 

" I didn't know Aunt Margaret kept 
house," said Lucy. 

" It isn't a real house," said Mrs. Merrill, 
" that is, not like this one. She has some rooms 
in a big building." 

"Mother!" said Dora, "oh, Mother, may 
I take Aunt Margaret a piece of my birthday 
cake?" 

" How do you know there will be a birthday 
cake? " asked Mrs. Merrill. 

" Because there always is," said Dora. 



CHAPTER VII 

ABOUT BOSTON 

YOU may be sure that Lucy and Dora 
did not oversleep next morning. For 
supper there had been pink ice-cream 
and a proper birthday cake with nine pink 
candles, and the holiday feeling lasted all 
night. 

Father took them to the station and put 
them on the train. He spoke to the conductor 
and then to Lucy. 

" Now, Lucy," he said, " if Miss Chandler is 
not on the platform where the train comes in, 
you and Dora are to walk right back to the 
car where you got off, and this gentleman will 

bring you home on his next train." 

94 



ABOUT BOSTON 95 

"But, Father," said Dora, "Aunt Mar- 
garet will be there. She said she would meet 
us." 

" Yes, I know," said Father, " and I think 
she will be waiting. This is so you will know 
what to do if anything happens to prevent her 
being there." 

Father kissed them and the conductor 
said, "All aboard!" Father stepped off 
quickly. 

Neither Lucy nor Dora often went on a 
train. They traveled so seldom that it was 
great fun to see the farmhouses and cows and 
hens as the train scurried past, and to watch 
the telegraph poles swooping down to gather 
up their wires. 

Before long, the farms grew fewer, and the 
houses came closer together and instead of hav- 
ing only two tracks, one for the trains going 
to Boston and the other for trains going in the 



96 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

opposite direction, there were many tracks on 
both sides, with engines puffing past or cars 
standing in long lines. 

Quite soon the trainman came and took their 
suit-case. Lucy looked at it anxiously for it 
contained a clean white dress for her and one 
for Dora. These were to be worn on Sunday 
if Aunt Margaret wished to take them to 
church. Lucy was not sure what the man 
meant to do with the suit-case. 

Dora did not notice his taking it. The train 
was moving across a bridge with water coming 
quite close on either side. In the air, gulls 
were flying, and in the distance she could see 
some big ships. 

The trainman saw that Lucy looked trou- 
bled. " The conductor told me to take this," 
he said. " I'll go with you to meet the party 
you are looking for." 

Lucy didn't know what he meant. " But we 



ABOUT BOSTON 97 

aren't going to a party," she said shyly. " We 
are going to meet Aunt Margaret." 

The trainman smiled. " I'll help you meet 
her," he said, and he looked so pleasant that 
Lucy was willing he should take the suit-case. 

When the train stopped, the children fol- 
lowed the other people to the door and there 
the trainman stood with the suit-case. He 
lifted Dora down and took Lucy by the elbow 
to help her just as he did the grown-up ladies. 
Then he walked with them down a long plat- 
form. 

Lucy and Dora were glad that he came with 
them. The train was standing under a big 
shed with a very high roof and many people 
were hurrying about. Huge engines snorted 
and made so much noise that it seemed most 
confusing. 

Miss Chandler stood by the gate which let 
the people through from the train-shed into the 



98 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

other part of the station. She kissed the little 
girls and thanked the kind trainman for help- 
ing them find her. 

The first thing was to dispose of the suit- 
case. Miss Chandler called a messenger-boy 
and sent him to take it to her rooms. 

" Now," she said to the children, " we will go 
by the elevated train." 

Lucy and Dora had read about the elevated 
railways in big cities, but neither had been on 
one. They went through the big station and 
up some steps and through a turnstile and 
along a corridor above a street where the 
trucks and electric cars were, and up some 
more steps to a platform. Soon a train of cars 
came, but it did not have a smoky engine. This 
train ran bjr electricity. 

" Is this the evelated train? " asked Dora. 

" Yes, this is the elevated," said Miss Chan- 
dler, laughing. " We will step into this car." 



ABOUT BOSTON 99 

In half a minute the train was again moving, 
but the children were surprised because it did 
not stay on the tracks above the street. In- 
stead, it promptly plunged underground, into 
a lighted tunnel which ran under the street in- 
stead of above it. 

" It is a funny kind of elevated train which 
runs underground, isn't it? " said Miss Chan- 
dler. " But it does in Boston." 

Lucy and Dora thought it was odd, but they 
liked the brightly lighted stations where the 
train stopped. Quite soon, Miss Chandler said 
they would get out. 

When they left the car they were still un- 
derground and climbed many stairs before see- 
ing daylight. When they came out, it was on 
a sidewalk in the midst of tall buildings, much 
higher than any in the city where Mother went 
shopping. The streets were very narrow and 
at almost every crossing stood a policeman. He 



100 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

told the automobiles to stop and let people 
cross the street, or he told the people to wait on 
the sidewalk until it was safe for them to come. 
Everybody did exactly what he told them to 
do. 

" I think it is very kind of that policeman to 
stand there and help the people," said Dora. 

Miss Chandler smiled. "Do you, Dora?" 
she asked. " He says we may cross now." 

Such wonderful shop-windows! Lucy and 
Dora were really obliged to stop and look, for 
they had never imagined anything so beautiful. 
One big window was draped with silks of dif- 
ferent shades of orange and flame. 

" Is it a fairy palace? " asked Dora. " It is 
like a story I read once." 

No, it was not a palace, only a big shop and 
people could go in and buy those very silks if 
they liked. Miss Chandler let the children look 
in a number of windows and then she called 



ABOUT BOSTON 101 

their attention to an open space across the 
street. 

" Let us go over on the Common," she said. 
" Perhaps the squirrels will come to be 
fed." 

Directly across from the beautiful shops was 
a big park with great elms and green grass and 
seats where men and women were sitting. 
When the children entered, they saw three fat 
gray squirrels with bushy tails climbing over 
a man who sat on one of the seats. 

" They know he has nuts for them," said 
Miss Chandler. 

The man saw the children looking at him. 
He drew his hand from his pocket and it con- 
tained some peanuts. 

" Would you like to feed the squirrels? " he 
asked. 

" Will they bite? " asked Lucy. 

" Not if you don't scare them. Don't touch 



102 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

them nor try to grab them, but just hold the 
nut in your fingers." 

" Thank you," said Lucy and took one nut. 

" May we? " Dora asked Miss Chandler, and 
when she smiled, Dora took a nut and thanked 
the man. 

The squirrels came at once. Dora shivered a 
little when her squirrel put its paws about her 
fingers to steady the nut. Its wee hands felt 
so queer ! 

The third squirrel sat on the man's knee and 
nibbled a peanut. When it was eaten, it put its 
paws over its heart in a beseeching way. As 
well as it knew how, it was begging for another. 

Perhaps it was lucky that the man did not 
have many peanuts, for Lucy and Dora would 
have stayed until they were all gone. When 
there were no more, they thanked the man 
again and followed Miss Chandler across the 
Common. 




Dora shiverkd a little when the squirrel put its paws 

ABOUT HER FINGERS Page 102. 



ABOUT BOSTON 103 

" Who takes care of the squirrels in the 
winter? " asked Lucy. ' Who would feed 
them if the people didn't? " 

" The park commissioners feed them," said 
Miss Chandler. " Did you know that the 
State legislature of Massachusetts once 
stopped some important work to provide for a 
family of orphan gray squirrels on Boston 
Common? " 

" Did they really? " asked Lucy. 

" They really did. So you see that the 
squirrels would be looked after even if people 
didn't like to feed them with peanuts. Did you 
ever hear of the Frog Pond? " 

" I have," said Lucy eagerly. " I have just 
studied about it in my history class. Dora 
hasn't had history yet, but we can tell her." 

Dora looked at the small pond before them. 
She didn't see any frogs. 

" Just think, Dora," said Miss Chandler, 



104 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" that pond has been here since the first people 

came to Boston. The bovs always slide on it 

•/ %, 

in winter. Once during the Revolutionary 
War, British soldiers camped on the Common. 
They spoiled the ice where the children wanted 
to slide." 

" I know what happened," said Lucy 
proudly. " The general in command of the 
British army was a very cross man, but the 
boys didn't care if he was. They went 
straight and told him what the soldiers had 
done. And the General said they were to let 
the slide alone. Didn't he, Aunt Margaret? " 

" He did," said Miss Chandler. 

Dora looked respectfully at the Frog Pond. 
There were better places in Westmore for 
sliding when winter came, but it was interest- 
ing to know that children had played with the 
Frog Pond ever since there were any children 
in Boston to play there. 



ABOUT BOSTON 105 

Beyond the Common lay a pretty park, 
called the Public Garden, and here they came 
to a larger body of water with white birds 
swimming on it. Some were ducks and some 
were swans, and the children stopped to watch 
them. Miss Chandler kept looking at a 
wooden platform not far away. Part of 
it was on the bank and part floated on the 
water. 

Presently a boat came in sight, but it was 
like no boat Lucy and Dora had ever seen. It 
was not like the launch on World's End Pond 
nor like the one at the beach. It looked like 
a tremendous great bird, floating lightly on the 
water. 

" Would you like to go in the swan boat? " 
asked Miss Chandler. 

Would they like to! Dora and Lucy could 
hardly speak for joy. But Dora asked one 
question. 



106 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

"There won't be any waves, will there?" 
she inquired anxiously. " Not to tip the swan 
about? " 

" It will be perfectly smooth," said Miss 
Chandler, and it was. Dora enjoyed every 
second she spent in the swan boat. 

Xext, Miss Chandler took them to the Bos- 
ton Public Library. The children were very 
fond of the library in Westmore, but they had 
never imagined a library as big as this great 
building. Miss Chandler told them that Bos- 
ton was a large city and the people needed 
many books to read. 

They stayed a long time in the Public Li- 
brary. In it were many rooms and in some 
were beautiful paintings. To see them, they 
climbed a marble stair where great lions kept 
guard. Dora at once revised her ideas of fairy 
palaces. If only that windowful of silks could 
be hung on the walls of the marble stair, it 



ABOUT BOSTON 107 

would be better than any palace of which she 
had read. 

On the walls of one room were paintings 
about Sir Galahad. Lucy and Dora knew his 
story and how he went to seek the Holy Grail. 
Miss Chandler explained each painting. 

Then she took them into a pleasant room 
with low bookcases and small tables and chairs 
and told them that it belonged to the children 
of Boston. All the books on the shelves were 
books which children liked to read. 

Dora looked at the shelves carefully. It 
would be nice to have a library just for chil- 
dren, with no grown-ups at all. Still, the 
Westmore library was nice, and a little town 
didn't need a big library like Boston. Some of 
the books she saw on the shelves were in the 
children's corner of the Westmore library. 

" Now I think it is time for luncheon," said 
Miss Chandler. " We will have it rather early 



108 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

because I have a plan for this afternoon and I 
don't want you to get too tired." 

Lucy and Dora had not thought about eat- 
ing, but now it was mentioned, they both felt 
hungry. 

Miss Chandler stopped an electric car near 
the library. To the amusement of the chil- 
dren, after running a few blocks down a wide 
street, the car dived underground. Cars in 
Boston seemed to have this habit. 

When they came out of the subway they 
were in a different part of town, one which was 
crowded with people and had many large 
stores. 

Miss Chandler took them into one of these 
stores and up in an elevator to where there 
was a restaurant with music playing. 

First they washed their hands and smoothed 
their hair and then sat at a pretty round table 
with two pink asters in a vase. 



ABOUT BOSTON 109 

In every direction were tables with people 
eating luncheon. The waitresses wore gray 
linen uniforms and white caps, and boys in 
white suits carried away trays of used dishes. 
The place was so large and strange that Dora 
was glad Miss Chandler was with them. 

" What would you like for lunch? " Miss 
Chandler asked. 

" Ice-cream, please," said Lucy. 

" Oh, yes! " said Dora. " I would like that 
best of anything, Aunt Margaret." 

" We will have ice-cream for dessert," said 
Miss Chandler, " but we must eat something 
else first." 

Neither Lucy nor Dora cared especially 
what they had for lunch. There was too much 
to see for them to feel interested in the paper 
which had printed on it the things to eat. 

" We will have fricasseed chicken and baked 
potatoes and rolls," said Miss Chandler. " I 



110 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

will have some coffee and you girls shall have 
milk. Then we will all order ice-cream." 

The luncheon came on pretty dishes and the 
chicken was gay with green parsley. The po- 
tatoes sat in white paper boats. Most unusual 
of all, each lump of sugar for Miss Chandler's 
coffee came wrapped in smooth white paper. 

Miss Chandler said she did not use sugar in 
her coffee and that the children might each 
have one lump. Lucy ate hers while waiting 
for the ice-cream, but Dora tucked hers into a 
coat pocket. She thought she would take it to 
Mother. 

" What is the nice plan for the afternoon, 
Aunt Margaret?" Lucy asked when she had 
finished her chocolate ice-cream. Dora's ice- 
cream was strawberry and Miss Chandler's 
vanilla. 

But the afternoon of that day must have a 
chapter to itself. 



CHAPTER VIII 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON 

OF course the Chinese kitten came to 
Boston with Dora. To visit Miss 
Chandler without wearing her gift 
would be rude. Mother took a pair of pliers 
and bent the clasp on Dora's silver chain so 
that it unfastened less easily. It must have 
come apart while Dora was sleeping, and so 
Arcturus found a chance to escape. Mother 
made sure that Vega could not get away. 

Dora was holding the dear kitten in one hand 
while Miss Chandler explained her afternoon 
plan. They were to see " Jack and the Bean- 
stalk." This was a play, not a film picture, 
but a most unusual play, because it was acted, 

not by real people, but by dolls ! 

Ill 



112 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Lucy and Dora both opened their eyes wide. 
How could dolls act a play? They had some- 
times tried to have a play with their dolls, but 
the stupid things would not take any interest. 

Miss Chandler explained that these dolls 
were called marionettes. All any one could see 
was the stage with the marionettes giving the 
play, but they were really worked by strings 
attached to their jointed arms and legs. These 
strings went up above the stage and were 
pulled by people out of sight. 

A great many children came to see the 
marionettes and Lucy and Dora enjo}^ed look- 
ing about at all the little girls and boys. 

When the curtain rose, showing Jack and 
his mother and their cottage, they could 
scarcely believe that the figures, or puppets, 
were only dolls. They looked the right size 
for people. They walked about easily and 
rapidly. It was possible to understand just 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 113 

what they were saying, or rather, what the 
people behind the scenes were saying for 
them. 

How all the children laughed when the cow 
galloped clumsily in! A frisky cow she was, 
for she tossed her horns and kicked up her heels 
when Jack tried to catch her. And then he 
sold her for the magic bean and planted it, 
while his mother scolded him and wept. 

The magic bean began to grow! Away it 
went up past the top of the stage, and away 
went Jack, climbing the stalk while his mother 
wrung her hands and begged him to come back. 

Lucy liked the giant and his wife, but Dora 
never cared for that part of the story. She 
was glad when the giants were done with and 
Jack brought home the gold and chopped 
down the uncanny beanstalk. 

There followed a second play, and this time 
the actors were cunning rabbits with pointed 



114 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

ears and furry faces. They wore gingham 
dresses or trousers and acted much like real 
boys and girls. 

All over the theatre the children laughed 
aloud when a naughty boy rabbit got himself 
wet and Mother Rabbit hung him to dry on a 
line behind the kitchen stove. But it was the 
grown-ups who laughed when the postman 
came with a letter, for the postman was a tur- 
tle, and turtles, you know, never move very 
fast. 

Lucy and Dora enjoyed every minute. 
They could have watched the marionettes for 
hours and were sorry when it was over. 

Miss Chandler knew some of the people who 
managed the puppets, so she took the children 
behind the scenes. They were astonished to 
find that Jack was a small doll, and that the 
giant was only as large as Lucy's biggest one. 
Because everything on the stage was made just 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 115 

the proper size for the puppets, it seemed as 
though they were really as large as living peo- 
ple. 

The girls who managed the puppets were 
dressed in knickerbockers and stood on planks 
raised above the stage. One of them showed 
Lucy and Dora exactly how she held Jack, 
and how by pulling one string or another, she 
could make him walk across the stage, or raise 
his arms, or turn his head. It seemed wonder- 
ful to the children, and, indeed, it was wonder- 
ful. 

After the play they ate supper at a place 
called a dairy lunch, with nice milk and butter 
and white shiny tiled walls. But here there 
was no music. 

" Now we will go home," said Miss Chan- 
dler. " I am sure you have seen enough for 
to-day." 

Another electric car took them where Miss 



116 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Chandler lived. On the fifth floor of a tall 
building, she had three rooms which were 
called an apartment. The first was a living- 
room, with a big table and a lamp and com- 
fortable chairs and many books. There was 
one bedroom and a tiny bathroom with a tub 
for short people. Lastly was a sort of cup- 
board where there was a gas plate and some 
pretty dishes. This, Miss Chandler said, was 
called a kitchenette, because it was too small to 
be a real kitchen. 

Lucy and Dora were pleased with this name. 
They knew now that they had used a kitchen- 
ette at the beach. 

The suit-case was there before them and on 
Miss Chandler's bureau was the rosebud 
cushion. She had liked it very much. 

The children were tired enough to go to bed 
early, but they did wonder where they were to 
sleep, for the bedroom contained only one bed, 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 117 

and it was altogether too narrow for more 
than one person. Three would be a tight 
fit. 

Miss Chandler moved some books from the 
mantel in the living-room. She pulled a knob. 
The whole front of the mantel came down and 
there was a deep box with a mattress. 

" This is a folding-bed," said Miss Chandler. 
" Did you ever sleep in one? " 

" Never," said Dora. 

" Will it shut up while we are in it? " asked 
Lucy doubtfully. 

" It can't do that," said Miss Chandler. 
She showed them a bolt which kept the bed 
from shutting until the proper time in the 
morning. Even if at heart it wanted to close, 
it couldn't until the people were ready to put 
it away. 

Miss Chandler brought sheets and blankets, 
and in five minutes a comfortable bed was 



118 , THE CHINESE KITTEN 

ready for two tired little girls. Soon they 
were tucked into it. 

" I shall be reading in my bedroom for a 
while," said Miss Chandler. " If you want 
anything, just speak to me." 

Miss Chandler expected that the children 
would talk for a time, but they did not. Lucy 
was sleepy and Dora had so much to think 
about that she didn't feel like talking. Very 
soon Lucy was asleep. 

Dora watched the wind blow the sash curtain 
before the open window and then she suddenly 
discovered a strange thing. It was exactly 
like a bright round eye on the wall near the 
door. 

Dora looked at it hard, and the longer she 
looked, the less she liked it. How could a per- 
son or an animal with one eye be staring at her 
in the dark? How could any eye shine like 
that? 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 119 

Dora tucked the Chinese kitten under her 
cheek for comfort and tried not to look at the 
queer eye. She looked toward the table where 
the pretty lamp stood. 

That direction wasn't pleasant either. She 
saw another queer thing, a streak of light this 
time, which seemed in the middle of the air. 
It was a thin, short streak, much nearer the 
folding-bed than the eye on the wall. 

Dora hid her face in her pillow and tried to 
think what these queer things might be, but the 
longer she thought, the worse they seemed. 
She turned her head, and there was the round 
bright eye on the wall. She looked toward the 
table, and there was the streak of light in a 
place where no streak ought to be. 

Dora sat up in bed and saw a line of light 
under Miss Chandler's door. That was a 
right and proper place for it to be. She got 
up and put her arm across her face so she 



120 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

should not see the queer eye as she passed. 
She knocked on the door. 

It opened instantly and when Miss Chan- 
dler saw Dora, she took her in her arms. 
" Why, honey, what is the matter? " she asked. 
" Can't you go to sleep? " 

For a minute Dora did not say anything. 
She was contented just to feel loving arms 
about her. 

" There is a very queer thing in that room, 
Aunt Margaret," she said at last, her head on 
Miss Chandler's shoulder. " I don't like 
it at all and I don't think it ought to be 
there." 

" What is it, darling? " asked Miss Chan- 
dler. 

" It is a round bright eye on the wall," ex- 
plained Dora. " It looks at me in the dark. 
And by the table is a little shiny streak." 

Miss Chandler gave a soft laugh and hugged 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 121 

Dora tight. " Would you be afraid of that 
eye if you saw it with me? " she asked. 

Dora said she would not feel afraid. Miss 
Chandler put out the light in her bedroom. In 
half a minute, right by the door, out of the 
darkness grew a shiny round spot, exactly like 
the one in the living-room. 

" You see it, don't you, dear? " asked Miss 
Chandler. " Now, we will put on the light." 

When the room was bright with electricity, 
Miss Chandler took Dora over to the wall 
where the eye had shone. There was an elec- 
tric switch with two push-buttons. One was 
white and one was black. 

" It is this button, Dora," said Miss Chan- 
dler. " The top has been painted with some- 
thing which shines in the dark. It isn't an 
evil eye at all, little Dora, but a nice friendly 
eye that says, ' Did you want to put on the 
electric light? Here am I, showing you just 



122 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

where to touch your finger and snap it on in 
a jiffy!'" 

Miss Chandler turned out the light and 
Dora saw the button begin to shine. She 
pushed it in and out and saw how nice it was 
to have a bright eye to tell her where to find the 
switch. 

" And the streak by the table? " she asked. 

" That is a bit of radium paint enclosed in a 
glass pendant. When you pull the pendant, 
the lamp on the table lights." 

Dora gave a sigh of relief. " Thank you, 
Aunt Margaret," she said. " We have gas at 
home, and after Mother turns it off, nothing 
shines." 

Miss Chandler tucked Dora again into bed. 
When Dora was alone in the dark, she could 
smile at the friendly eye on the wall. 

On Sunday morning the children had the 
fun of getting breakfast in the kitchenette. 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 123 

First, the folding-bed had to be whisked out of 
the way, and the room aired and straightened. 

There was a wee refrigerator about as large 
as Mother's cake-box. In it were butter and 
milk, a jar of cream, and a comb of honey. A 
paper bag held crisp half-moon rolls, and there 
was also a tumbler of orange marmalade. 
Miss Chandler made coffee for herself, and 
Lucy proudly boiled three eggs exactly four 
minutes. She knew just how, because she 
often cooked them for Mother. 

After breakfast they went to church, wear- 
ing the white dresses. It was fortunate that 
Mother thought to send an extra dress apiece, 
for though the gingham dresses were still 
clean, they were rumpled after all the exciting 
things that happened on Saturday. 

It was a wonderful church to which Miss 
Chandler took them, big and dark, with win- 
dows like rainbows, and an organ which 



124 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

sounded like heaven. The service was like 
that in the Westmore church. Dora wished 
Uncle Dan were with her, for he liked music 
and the Westmore choir could not sing like 
this one. 

After service, Miss Chandler showed the 
children the statue of Bishop Brooks outside 
the church and told them how good a man he 
was, and how people loved him so much that 
the whole city of Boston mourned for him 
when he died, even people who didn't go to his 
church. Long years ago he used to preach 
there in Trinity Church. 

" We are going to do a very interesting 
thing this afternoon," Miss Chandler said while 
they were eating dinner at the College Club. 
The Club was only a pleasant house, and there 
was ice-cream for dessert, which was impor- 
tant. 

" Will it be a surprise? " asked Dora. 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 125 

" I think you will be much surprised," said 
Miss Chandler. 

After the ice-cream was eaten, they walked 
through a parkway and before long went into 
a large building. 

Inside was a room where a lady wearing a 
white dress and a white cap sat at a desk. Miss 
Chandler told the children to sit down and she 
talked with this lady. A bell rang somewhere. 

Presently in came another lady, dressed in 
the same way as the one at the desk, but she 
was much younger. Miss Chandler spoke to 
her and then came to the children. 

" This is Lucy and this is Dora," she said. 
" This lady is Miss Perrin, and she is going to 
show us something interesting." 

Miss Perrin took them into a broad hall and 
to an elevator which went up so slowly that the 
children could see on every floor they passed, 
more ladies dressed in white, or in blue with 



126 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

white caps and aprons, and men, too, who, 
strange to say, wore white coats and trousers. 

Dora looked inquiringly at Miss Chandler. 
She smiled back. There was a queer smell in 
the air. It smelled almost like Mr. Giddings' 
drug-store. Miss Perrin left the elevator and 
led the way to a door. 

The room beyond was unlike anything the 
children had ever seen. The bare floor looked 
as though it were washed every hour, it was so 
fearfully clean! Not a picture hung on the 
straw-colored walls. All the woodwork was 
white and the table had a glass top. There 
were only two chairs, and they were white. 
You can never guess the rest of the furniture. 

All around three sides of the room white 
baskets stood on tall white frames, and in every 
basket lay a tiny, tiny baby. A whole room 
full of babies and no grown people at all ! 

Miss Perrin went straight to the nearest 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 127 

basket. "O dear!" she said. "Those doc- 
tors are so careless. They are forever coming 
and unpinning covers. Then these persons 
kick off their blankets and take cold. This 
one's hands are freezing." 

Such a very little person to kick off blankets ! 
But they were in a heap at the bottom of the 
basket and the baby was crying real tears. 
Dora could hardly bear to see them on its tiny 
cheeks and to see how pitifully its lower lip 
quivered. Miss Perrin took it up and laid it 
against her warm cheek and it stopped being 
pitiful. Then she tucked it in and pinned down 
the covers. It did not cry again. 

" That is all men know about babies," said 
Miss Perrin. " I don't mind the doctors look- 
ing at them, but they never leave them as they 
find them. No man knows how to put one to 
bed." 

Miss Perrin looked at every baby to be sure 



128 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

no careless doctor had left it to kick off its 
covers. 

" I have a friend who is here in the hospital," 
said Miss Chandler. " I want to see her for a 
few minutes. Would you two like to stay with 
the babies? Which is Mrs. Stoddard's baby? " 

" This person here," said Miss Perrin, indi- 
cating a crib. " She is five days old." 

Lucy and Dora went to look at the friend's 
baby. It was sound asleep. 

While Miss Chandler went to see Mrs. 
Stoddard, Lucy and Dora looked at all the 
babies. Then Miss Perrin took them into 
another and much larger room. Even this big 
room was full of babies. 

They were not sleeping in bassinets like 
those in the smaller room, but their beds were 
just as comfortable. Each one lay on a mat- 
tress in a wire basket which looked something 
like Mother's dish-drainer. When a nurse 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 129 

wanted a special baby, she picked it up, basket 
and all, and carried it off. 

In the middle of the room was an odd table, 
with wheels and two shelves. One of the 
nurses was collecting wire baskets, each with a 
wee baby. She set the baskets side by side on 
the shelves of the table. When there was room 
for no more, she wheeled the table and the 
babies into the corridor. 

" They are going to their mothers,'' said 
Miss Perrin. " The mothers are in another 
room and it is time the babies were fed." 

" How do they know which baby belongs to 
which mother? " asked Dora. " There are so 
many that I should think they would get 
mixed." 

" No, they are never mixed," said Miss Per- 
rin. " We are careful about that, for of course 
each mother prefers her own baby." 

Miss Perrin lifted the blanket of the nearest 



130 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

baby and showed the children a tag fastened to 
its dress. On the tag was a number and a 
name. The name was that of the mother, and 
the number that of her bed. 

" Whenever a nurse dresses a baby," Miss 
Perrin explained, " the first thing she does is 
to take off this tag and fasten it to the clean 
dress. And she mustn't touch another baby 
until the first one is finished. But we also 
mark them in another way." 

Miss Perrin uncovered a tiny foot. On its 
sole was stuck a piece of cloth plaster with the 
mother's name written on it. 

" You see they cannot be mixed," she said. 
"And, anyway, the mothers soon know their 
own babies." 

" Of course," Dora agreed. 

Lucy gave an exclamation. In one wire 
basket lay a baby, no smaller than the others, 
for all were small, but different, because it was 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON 131 

a colored baby. Its skin was black and wee 
bits of wool covered its head. 

"Isn't it cunning !" said Lucy. "Oh, 
Dora, I wish we could have it at our house." 

" So do I," said Dora. 

Miss Perrin laughed. " I guess Mother 
wouldn't want you to have it," she said. " Her 
name is Blanche, and she is just as good as a 
kitten." 

Lucy and Dora could not leave that little 
black baby. They liked it best of any, and 
when Miss Chandler came back, she found 
them by its basket. They talked about it all 
the way to Miss Chandler's apartment, and 
while they Avere packing the suit-case. 

" We have had a beautiful time, Aunt Mar- 
garet," said Lucy, when they were ready to 
start for the station. 

" Thank you for asking us," said Dora. " I 
think Boston is a very nice place." 



132 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" Nice enough to live in? " asked Miss 
Chandler. 

" Oh, yes," said Dora, and then she stopped. 
" If I could live in two places," she went on, 
after thinking a little. " Because Westmore 
is home, you know." 

" Yes, I know," said Miss Chandler, and 
then she kissed Dora. " But you will like to 
visit in Boston sometimes? " 

" I shall like it very much," said Dora. 
" We will always come when you invite us, 
Aunt Margaret. That is, if Mother says we 
may." 

" I shall certainly ask you both to come 
again," said Miss Chandler. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE KITTEN'S STORY 

WHEN they reached home, both Lucy 
and Dora talked a great deal. They 
had to tell Father and Mother all 
the things they had seen and done in Boston. 
Father was especially interested in the mario- 
nettes and asked many questions about them. 

Some of the questions the children could not 
answer, so Father said that the next time they 
went to the Public Library, he wished they 
would ask Miss Perkins for a book on mario- 
nettes. Dora said she would do so. 

Uncle Dan liked to hear about the church 
with the beautiful picture windows and the 
wonderful music. He said that once he had 

been there to a choir festival. 

133 



134 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

After a time Father went to see Mr. Baker, 
and Uncle Dan took his hat and went out 
through the kitchen. Dora ran after him. 

"Are you going to see Olive?" she asked. 
" Please tell her that I love my new ribbons. 
And tell her I have been in Boston and that is 
why I haven't said ' thank you ' Tor them." 

Uncle Dan said that he would tell Olive. 
Dora went back into the parlor and sat on 
Mother's lap. 

" I must tell you about my Chinese kitten," 
she said. " Oh, Mother, Aunt Margaret liked 
the piece of birthday cake so much! She said 
to tell you she wished she could make cake like 
that. She did not have any of her own, 
Mother." 

" Next year we will make her a birthday 
cake," said Mrs. Merrill, and she looked 
pleased. "What about the Chinese kitten?" 

" First of all," Dora began, "Aunt Margaret 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 135 

showed me the star she named it for. Last 
night it was very bright, and I can find it now 
for Uncle Dan. At least, I think I can. And 
then she told me about the kitten. 

" When Aunt Margaret's grandfather," 
Dora went on, " was about as old as Uncle 
Dan, he went on a long voyage on a ship that 
sailed to China. When he came home, he 
brought with him a set of ivory chess-men. Do 
you know what they are, Mother? " 

"Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. "Chess is a 
game, played on a board with squares marked 
off, — a checker-board, like yours, — and a set 
of counters. You and Lucy have counters 
for your game of parchesi." 

" Yes," said Dora, " but those are flat and 
round. These chess-men were different. 
They stood up tall, and the pieces which 
counted most, — the kings and queens and 
knights and bishops — were cats, big cats, made 



136 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

out of ivory. And the littler pieces, the pawns, 
were kittens. Half the pieces were white and 
half were blue. There were eight blue kittens 
and eight white ones." 

" They must have been very pretty," Mrs. 
Merrill agreed. " What became of them? " 

" Some were lost," said Dora, " and Aunt 
Margaret thinks her boy cousins took the cats 
when they visited their grandmother. So many 
chess-men were gone that people couldn't play 
the game any more. The grandmother 
thought, since the boys had taken the cats, she 
would divide the kittens between the little girl 
cousins. 

" She gave Aunt Margaret four kittens," 
Dora went on, " two blue ones and two white." 

Dora stopped. Lucy was calling Timothy 
at the back door. Dora looked to see that 
Lucy was beyond hearing. Even then, she 
whispered the rest. 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 137 

"Aunt Margaret told me that she is going 
to give Lucy a white kitten for Christ- 
mas. You will keep it a secret, won't you, 
Mother? " 

" I will try to," said Mrs. Merrill. " But 
what with your pincushion and now this white 
kitten, and its being only September, I think 
we are getting Lucy's Christmas started 
early." 

" I know she will like it," said Dora happily. 
" I told Aunt Margaret so. In the beginning 
the kittens didn't have anything around their 
necks, but Aunt Margaret took Vega to a 
jeweler, and had him put on a silver collar and 
ring, so I could wear her on my chain. Lucy's 
white kitten will have a collar, too. And that 
is why Vega sits down so hard and flat, 
Mother, so as not to tip over on the chess- 
board." 

Next, Dora told Mother about the babies, 



138 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

and how one had cried real tears until Miss 
Perrin comforted it. Lucy came back and 
they both talked of the little black baby. 

" Would you have minded if we had brought 
it home? " asked Lucy. 

" I should prefer a white one," said Mother. 

" But this was more unusual," explained 
Lucy. 

" It would be in our family," agreed Mrs. 
Merrill. Then she said they must go to bed 
early, because, after two such exciting days, 
she knew they were tired. 

Quite soon after Dora's birthday, Jack 
Frost took out his paints and colored all the 
leaves. Some were yellow and some red, 
mixed with green. Some, he turned a faded 
brown. All over Westmore, the leaves began 
to flutter down and carpet the streets with 
bright spots of color. 

Then one night, Jack took a look at the 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 139 

flower-beds. Evidently he didn't approve of 
people's raising flowers in gardens; he cared 
only for things which grew wild. For the 
flowers did not become bright colors; they 
turned black and shriveled. 

Uncle Dan cut down the tall hollyhocks 
which had been so pretty all summer. Many of 
them towered far above his head. Lucy and 
Dora dragged the stalks to a place where they 
could be burned. Some of the seeds went into 
their hair and some went down their necks. 
And hollyhock seeds tickle when they slip in- 
side one's clothes. 

Mother asked Uncle Dan to trim the rose- 
bushes on either side of the back door. She 
said she was tired of having them snatch out 
her hairpins every time she tried to hang up 
clothes. The children thought Mother was 
joking, but Uncle Dan cut off one long sprout 
and on it, there really sat a hairpin. Dora 



140 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

took it straight to Mother who put it in her hair 
and said she was glad to see it again. 

Dora read " Doctor Dolittle " through five 
times. Then she looked once more at every 
picture and returned the book to the library, 
just as clean and nice as when she took it. She 
told Miss Perkins that she liked that story best 
of any book she had ever read. Miss Perkins 
said she liked it herself. That was the reason 
she chose it for Dora to take to the beach. 

Dora remembered to ask for the book for 
Father about the marionettes and she told 
Miss Perkins about seeing them in Boston. 
She was pleased to know that Miss Perkins 
had seen those very plays, the rabbit play and 
the one about Jack. 

Miss Perkins found two books for Father to 
read about them. One was a big book and she 
thought it was rather heavy for Dora to carry, 
but Dora thought she could manage it. Once 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 141 

or twice on the way home, she would rest it on 
a wall. 

The weather grew so cool that even the big 
girls played games at recess. It was pleasanter 
to run about than to stand still and let the 
wind blow right through one. To stand still, 
it was necessary to get into a corner where the 
sun shone brightly and the wind couldn't come. 

Miss Leger always dismissed her children 
before Miss Scott's room came out, and Dora 
would wait for Lucy. One afternoon, Miss 
Scott's class filed out, walking two and two 
across the school grounds to the sidewalk, 
where they broke ranks and began to skip and 
prance. Dora was waiting, but Lucy was not 
in the file. 

" Where is Lucy? " she asked Dorothy 
Barrows. 

" Miss Scott kept her after school," said 
Dorothy. " Lucy has been very naughty, so 



142 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

naughty that we are none of us to tell what 
she did." 

Dora felt sorry to hear this, but she could 
not believe that Lucy had been more than a 
little naughty. The other children all went 
home, but Dora waited in the cold wind, trying 
to keep warm by jumping up and down. She 
kept looking at the schoolhouse to see when 
Lucy came. 

It grew later and later and Dora was afraid 
that Mother would worry, but she could not 
leave Lucy to walk home alone. Lucy would 
need to be comforted when she came out. 

After a long time Lucy did come, and her 
face was swollen with crying and her eyes were 
red. In her hand she held a note. 

When Dora saw the note, she knew that 
Lucy had been really naughty. Anybody who 
was given a note to take home had done some- 
thing shocking. 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 143 

Dora ran to meet Lucy and kissed her. 
Then she held her arm and did not say a word. 
Lucy began to cry again and walked slower 
and slower. Dora was cold and wanted to 
walk fast. 

" What is the matter? " Dora asked when 
they had gone about a block. " Was Miss 
Scott cross to you? " 

Lucy nodded and choked. She tried to 
speak but only cried the harder 

When they reached the brown cottage, 
Mother was watching for them. She came 
and opened the door. 

" Where have you been? " she asked. " You 
are very late and you know I want you always 
to come straight home after school." 

Then Mother saw how Lucy looked. Dora 
began to cry also, just because she was so 
sorry for Lucy. 

Mother took them into the warm kitchen and 



144 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

asked what the matter was, but Dora did not 
know, and Lucy could not tell. She sobbed 
and held out the note. Mother read it. 

Lucy cried harder than ever and so did Dora. 
For a minute Mother did not say anything at 
all. Then she told Dora to stop crying and 
told Lucy to go and wash her face. 

When Lucy came out of the bathroom, 
Mother sat down in the rocker and took her in 
her arms. She told Dora to go into the parlor 
and work on the cushion for Olive. 

Dora sewed until it began to grow dark, 
which was soon, because they had been so late 
coming from school. Mother never allowed 
her or Lucy to light the lamp on the table, so 
she looked out of the window and wished she 
could do something for Lucy. 

After a time, she heard Lucy going up to 
their room and then Mother opened the door 
into the parlor. Dora ran to her at once. 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 145 

" Please tell me, Mother," she asked, with 
her arms about Mother's waist. 

Mrs. Merrill sat down and took Dora on 
her lap. " Lucy has done something very 
wrong," she said. " She didn't know how to 
do a problem in number-work, so she kept her 
book open under her desk and copied from 
it." 

" But she is very sorry," said Dora, and the 
tears came into her eyes. 

"Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. "She is so 
sorry that we will not say anything more to 
her about it. But you will never do it, will 
you, Dora? " 

" No, Mother," said Dora earnestly. " But 
I don't need to, you see. I like number-work 
and the problems are easy for me." 

11 1 mean in anything," said Mrs. Merrill. 
" It never does any good to cheat in this world, 
and it hurts onlv the one who does it." 



146 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" I won't, in anything," said Dora. " May 
I go and tell Lucy that I love her and that we 
aren't going to say anything about it? " 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. " I told Lucy to 
lie down for a little while because she has cried 
so much that her head aches. It is her turn to 
help me get supper to-night, but if you want to, 
you may do it for her." 

Dora was glad to do this. She ran up-stairs 
and kissed Lucy and whispered in her ear, and 
then half-way clown the stairs, she ran back and 
took the Chinese kitten out of the pink box 
where Arcturus used to live. She tucked it 
into Lucy's hand. 

" Vega is very comforting to hold," she said. 
" When you come down to supper, please put 
her back in her pink box." 

Just then, Lucy didn't think she should 
want any supper, but Dora and the kitten made 
her feel better, to say nothing of the talk with 



THE KITTEN'S STORY 147 

Mother. When Dora called, she put Vega 
away and came down. 

Mother had told Father and Uncle Dan not 
to speak of Lucy's red eyes, and they did not. 
Only, after supper, Father took her on his knee 
and talked to her a little while. 

That night, after she and Dora were in bed, 
Lucy rolled over and cuddled close to Dora. 

" I am never going to cheat again," she said. 
" I don't like Miss Scott and I never shall like 
her, but it is because of Father and Mother. 
They care so much about our doing what is 
right, that we shall just have to do it." 

" Yes," said Dora, snuggling into Lucy's 
arms, " we mustn't be naughty when they care 
so much." 



CHAPTER X 

THE VICTORY PARK 

IN most States October twelfth is a legal 
holiday, because long ago on that day, 
Columbus landed in America. He didn't 
know it was America ; he thought it was Asia, 
but that was the day when he arrived. 

To celebrate in honor of Columbus seemed 
hardly fair to children who learned in school 
that other explorers than Columbus came here 
before him. In fact, America was not named 
^or him, anyway, but for another voyager. 

But the children approved of the holiday 
even though the cause had become mixed dur- 
ing the centuries. This especial Columbus 
Day was to be celebrated in Westmore as none 

had ever been before. 

148 



THE VICTORY PARK 149 

Away back in June the plan was made, and 
all summer long, men and women had been ar- 
ranging for it. 

On the morning of October twelfth, when 
the sun rose, and everybody hoped that he 
would rise smiling, he would look upon a big 
square meadow tucked into an edge of West- 
more, a pretty meadow with some large trees. 
Around three sides were streets. On the 
fourth side lay the school grounds. 

When the sun set on October twelfth, if all 
went as expected, the last thing his astonished 
face would see, would be a park where the 
meadow had been, — the Victory Park of West- 
more. The people were going to make it 
themselves in memory of the five Westmore 
boys who sailed to France at the call of duty 
and didn't come home again. 

Judge Winslow owned the meadow and his 
son was one of the five who were lying in Flan- 



150 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

ders with red poppies blowing in the sunshine 
above their graves. The Judge said that he 
would give the meadow to the town on one con- 
dition. The town must agree to take care of 
it always. 

To arrange for this, the people of Westmore 
met in June. They voted to accept the 
meadow, and promised that forever and for- 
ever, they would keep it as a park. 

They asked the Judge if he would like them 
to call it Winslow Park, but the Judge said 
not. Both he and Mrsv Winslow knew that 
Lieutenant Ned would not want the park to 
bear his name, when the four other Westmore 
boys gave their lives for their country just as 
truly as he did. The memorial was to be for 
them all. Why not call it the Victory 
Park? 

So the town voted for this name. Mr. Law- 
rence, who knew how parks ought to look, 



THE VICTORY PARK 151 

measured the meadow and drew a proper plan, 
showing where flower-beds should be made and 
shrubbery set out. The beautiful trees already 
in the meadow would stay just where they 
were. The centre of the field was to be grass, 
kept smooth and short. Around the edges, 
curving flower-beds were planned, with gravel 
walks where people could stroll in the cool of 
the evening. 

At one side of the meadow stood an oak- 
tree and under it a large boulder. When the 
park was completely finished there would be 
on the boulder a bronze tablet, saying that the 
people of Westmore had made the park in 
memory of their five boys. 

Early in the summer a copy of the plan 
Mr. Lawrence made was hung in the Town 
Hall. Beside it was tacked a large sheet of pa- 
per, divided into columns. At the head of each 
column stood the name of a plant or a shrub, 



152 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

and the number of each Mr. Lawrence thought 
would be needed. Anybody who could spare 
that plant from his garden or who wanted to 
buy it for the Victory Park, wrote his name in 
the proper column. Long before summer was 
over the columns were full of names and every 
plant and shrub had been promised. 

There were to be tulips and daffodils also in 
the park and these the children gave. Every 
child in school brought five cents to buy one 
bulb. 

The farmers promised to lend their horses 
and carts and tools, and all those belonging to 
the town were to be ready for people to use. 
Mr. Harper had charge of the day's work. 
Everybody was to do what he directed. 

To make the Victory Park would take all 
day, so the ladies said that at noon they would 
serve a lunch in the Town Hall for the workers. 
This would be their part. 



THE VICTORY PARK 153 

Every person in Westmore was to have a 
chance to help in some way.- Even the kinder- 
garten children were planned for. 

Mrs. Merrill was one of the ladies to provide 
the lunch. Mr. Merrill and Uncle Dan were 
to help dig the park. You will see what Lucy 
and Dora did. 

On the evening of the eleventh, everybody 
went to bed prepared to get up early. Tools 
were laid ready, and also old clothes suitable 
for gardening. 

Lucy and Dora expected to wake of them- 
selves, but they did not have a chance. Just 
after six o'clock Uncle Dan opened the door of 
their room and shouted to them : 

"In fourteen hundred ninety-two 
Columbus sailed the ocean blue. 
Awake, arise ! though yet 'tis dark, 
To-day we make our Victory Park." 

" Oh, Uncle Dan ! " groaned Lucy, but Dora 



154 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

sat up and looked at Dan. Then she laughed 
into her pillow for almost a minute. 

Before eight a big crowd collected on the 
meadow which was to be a park before the sun 
set. First they sang "America." Then Mr. 
Harper made a little speech and reminded 
them why they were making the park, out of 
gratitude to the heroic boys who helped save 
the country from great peril. One of the 
ministers prayed that their work might be 
blessed for themselves, and for all the children 
who in years to come would play in the Victory 
Park. 

Then everybody watched while the mothers 
and fathers of the five heroes each took a spade 
and turned one sod. 

The minute that was done the work started. 
The people who were to plough the field 
brought the horses, harnessed ready to begin. 
Behind the plows came harrows, and behind 



THE VICTORY PARK 155 

them men and boys with garden forks, to re- 
move stones and shake out sods of turf. 

The flower-beds had been carefully marked 
with stakes, and the people who were to make 
them ready began to dig, one set of people to 
each bed. Many of the young men were in 
their old khaki uniforms, and the young women 
came in overalls and bloomers in which they 
had been farmerettes during the war. 

There was only one mix-up. The commit- 
tee who were to make the gravel paths wanted 
to make them at once, and this interfered with 
the people who were trying to dig the flower- 
beds. Mr. Harper explained to the gravel- 
path people that they would really have to 
wait. 

Grace Benson had brought her donkey. Its 
name was Souris, which is the French for a 
mouse, and it was all mouse-color except the 
black tips of its ears and tail. 



156 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Grace expected Souris to help about making 
the park, but what could one wee donkey do? 
Souris was very small, and the moment Grace 
led him among the people he began to shiver 
and shake until his harness rattled. 

Nobody knew why Souris was afraid. Per- 
haps he did not like the big cart-horses several 
times larger than he; perhaps they spoke un- 
kindly to him in horse language; at any rate, 
Souris stood still and shook from nose to tail. 
Only when Grace put her arms about his neck 
and spoke comfortingly to him did he stop 
trembling. The minute she took her arms 
away he began shivering again. 

Clearly Souris was of no use, and Grace 
took him home. He looked so miserable that 
nobody wanted him to stay and keep on feeling 
unhappy, but Grace felt ashamed of him. 

At first only the older people could work, 
because horses and machines were needed, and 



THE VICTORY PARK 157 

there was nothing the children could do. But 
soon they could help. 

The Boy Scouts cleaned a little brook which 
ran through the meadow. All proper parks 
have a brook or a lake, and so it was fortunate 
that the meadow possessed one. To plant 
flowers and bushes was easy, but to coax a 
brook to come from another place and run 
through the Victory Park might have been 
hard. 

The boys took out of the brook all the tin 
cans which thoughtless people had thrown into 
it. Never again would there be tin cans in the 
Victory brook. They pulled out sticks and 
branches and took away some stones, but only 
those which Mr. Lawrence said were to go. 
Some must be left so the brook could make 
pretty ripples and have something over which 
to sing. 

There were also stones in the meadow for the 



158 TEE CHINESE KITTEN 

children to pick up and carry to baskets on the 
edge of the field. As fast as filled, men emp- 
tied these baskets into tip-carts, which took 
the stones away. The older boys raked where 
directed, so as to make the earth the proper 
level. 

The committees which had charge of the 
flowers dug the beds and did it very thor- 
oughly. They dug down nearly two feet and 
put in fertilizer so the roots of the new plants 
would have plenty of food. They prepared 
the beds and then said that they must have 
water. The summer had been so dry that the 
plants could not grow unless the earth was 
made wet all around the roots. 

Nobody had thought that there must be 
water. Mr. Harper went into the nearest 
house and telephoned to the fire station. The 
hose-cart came immediately and fastened 
a hose to the hydrant. Any amount of 



THE VICTORY PARK 159 

water could be turned anywhere it was 
wanted. 

The committee in charge of each bed had a 
copy of Mr. Lawrence's plan. This told them 
exactly how many plants and shrubs were to 
go in the bed and where they were to be set. 
When the ground was ready the head of each 
committee put a marker where each was to be 
planted. 

The High School students planted the 
shrubs, and then came the turn of the smaller 
children. Each of them carried a bulb and 
marched in line to the flower-bed appointed. 

Each one dug a little hole for his bulb and 
put it in with care to get it right side up. 
Bulbs never grow so well when they are 
planted with their heads down. Then a Boy 
Scout with a water-pot gave it a drink, and the 
child covered it with loam and patted it down 
hard. 



160 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

The kindergarten children planted tulips. 
Dora's class planted daffodils and Lucy's class 
did the jonquils. Every child in the public 
schools had a share in making the Victory 
Park. 

Meanwhile the ladies had been getting lunch 
in the Town Hall. Some of the older men 
who had stiff knees and couldn't work out of 
doors, set up the long tables and brought set- 
tees and dishes. Promptly at twelve the fire 
whistle blew long and loud. It wasn't for a 
fire at all, but the signal that everybody was 
to stop working and go to lunch in the Town 
Hall. 

The park looked like nothing at all, but it 
did look as though there might be hope for it 
by sunset. 

Some of the men, especially those who wore 
stiff collars and went into Boston every day, 
thought they were much too dirty to go to 



THE VICTORY PARK 161 

lunch. They said they would go home and 
wash. 

Mr. Harper took a megaphone and spoke 
through it. He asked the men not to go home. 
He told them to brush off the dust and loam 
and to wash their hands at the hydrant. Most 
of them laughed and did just as Mr. Harper 
said. 

Very soon all the tables in the long hall were 
rilled, and everybody was hungry. There is 
nothing like digging in the dirt to make people 
ready for dinner. 

The good things the ladies had been cooking 
vanished like snow before the sun. There was 
cold meat of various kinds, a great many baked 
potatoes, string-beans, and beets, and squash. 
For dessert were doughnuts and pies and 
coffee and ice-cream. 

Girls of Olive's age waited on the tables. 
Lucy and Dora wanted dreadfully to help, but 



162 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

that was one of the things they could not do 
until they were older. Five hundred people 
sat down together at lunch in the Westmore 
Town Hall. 

When they had finished eating, Mr. Harper 
made another suggestion. He asked every 
person at the table to pick up the dishes he had 
used and to ?arry them into the kitchen on his 
way out of the hall. 

At this everybody laughed and the waitresses 
clapped their hands. For them to clear those 
long tables would be a great deal of work, but 
to clear them in Mr. Harper's way would take 
hardly any time at all. 

Everybody picked up all the dishes he could 
carry and left them in the kitchen. There 
were still salt-shakers and bread-and-butter 
plates and pickle dishes to remove, but that did 
not take very long. And then the old men 
took away the tables and put the settees in 



THE VICTORY PARK 163 

place. The hall was now ready for some other 
use, for a meeting or a lecture. 

The children ate sandwiches made of the 
meat and bread which was left and they also 
finished the doughnuts and the ice-cream. 
Then people began to wash the dishes. 

There were ten washers, and each had two 
girls to wipe for her, and it was amazing 
how fast those piles of dishes vanished. As 
soon as they were wiped, they were packed in 
baskets. Every church in town had loaned its 
crockery and silver for the Victory lunch. 

By four o'clock the dishes were all washed 
and sorted. Each church had its own. There 
was one spoon which nobody claimed. And 
by that hour the chaos in the park was chang- 
ing into order. 

The patient people who were to make the 
gravel walks got a chance to do so. The 
centre of the meadow was now as smooth as a 



164 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

table. The land had been ploughed, harrowed, 
raked, fertilized, and planted with lawn seed. 
Then it had been rolled with a big iron roller 
drawn by two horses. Where rough, uneven 
sod had lain was now a smooth brown level. 

The flower-beds were planted and raked 
within an inch of their lives. All the shrubs 
and clumps of perennials were in place. You 
could imagine how beautiful the curved beds 
were going to look. The bulbs didn't show, 
being tucked underground to sleep till Spring 
called them. Each flower-bed was outlined 
with turf, put in place and pounded down. 

Everybody watched the gravel paths being 
made. They waited until the last man raked 
himself out of the park. The sun's rim was 
nearing the horizon. There were backs that 
ached and hands that showed blisters, for if you 
are used to sitting in an office, or writing for 
hours at a desk, it is not easy to spend a whole 



THE VICTORY PARK 165 

day digging dirt. Everybody was tired, but 
everybody was pleased and happy. The Vic- 
tory Park was done! 



CHAPTER XI 

HALLOWE'EN 

BEFORE many days the winds finished 
what work Jack Frost didn't attend 
to himself. The leaves were neatly 
whisked from all the trees except the oaks and 
the evergreens. Oaks are cold trees. They 
keep most of their leaves on all winter and let 
them drop only when Spring sends word that 
she is on the way with a new gown for each. 
Such pretty secrets some of the trees revealed ! 
Who suspected birds' nests until the boughs 
were bare? 

In the gutters of the Westmore streets lay 
drifts of leaves through which the children 
loved to rustle on their way to school. The 
autumn air was full of the pleasant smell of 

their burning. 

166 



HALLOWE'EN 167 

About the farms on the outskirts of town, 
cabbages were piled in green or purple heaps. 
Ears of corn dangled from barn rafters, drying 
for seed next year. In rows on the piazzas sat 
pumpkins. 

Lucy and Dora greatly wanted pumpkins 
because in a few days it would be Hallowe'en. 
On that evening the Westmore children 
dressed up and pretended to be goblins and 
ghosts. Every respectable ghost lighted its 
way with a pumpkin lantern. 

The children consulted Father. He asked 
Mother if the pumpkins could be made into 
pies after they had been lanterns. Mother 
thought a moment and said she could use them. 

Father bought two small pumpkins. Lucy 
wanted to make her own lantern and so did 
Dora, but they found the shell much harder 
than they expected. Mother was so afraid 
they would cut themselves that she would not 



168 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

let them take the sharpest kitchen knife. 
When Father came home from work both little 
girls were glad to let him help them. 

Father did not find it hard to cut off the top 
of each pumpkin, but Mother let him have a 
sharp knife. Lucy and Dora scooped out the 
soft part with the seeds, and Father cut eyes 
and a nose and a mouth in each lantern. 
Lucy's had teeth with sharp points, which 
made it look cross, but Dora's had a smooth, 
curved, smiling mouth. 

Mother found a bit of candle for each, and 
they lighted them and turned down the gas to 
see how they were going to look. They looked 
decidedly spooky. 

The last day of October was windy and cold, 
but when the sun went down the wind went 
with it. This was lucky, because if it had not 
stopped, the policemen would not let the chil- 
dren build bonfires. 



HALLOWE'EN 169 

Directly after supper Lucy and Dora began 
to dress as ghosts. Each wore an old pillow- 
case in which Mother said they might cut holes 
for eyes and noses and arms. Mother tied the 
points so they looked like ears. She also tied 
tapes around their necks to make the cases fit 
better. Then their eye-holes would not slide 
about. 

"I declare!" she said when they were 
dressed. " I wouldn't like to meet you in the 
dark myself! " 

Lucy and Dora jumped up and down with 
delight. If Mother felt that way, mere stran- 
gers would be terribly scared. 

Father lighted the lanterns. He told them 
to be very careful not to set themselves on fire, 
and not to go near any burning leaves. 

Mother told them not to go down into the 
square because big and rough boys might be 
out. She told them to keep in their own part 



170 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

of town and to ring door-bells only where they 
knew the people who lived in the houses. 

The children said they would remember and 
skipped happily away. Underneath the pil- 
low-cases they wore warm sweaters. First 
they rang the Bakers' bell and Marion rushed 
to the door. She stopped short when she saw 
the two white figures with their lanterns. 

" It is Lucy and Dora! " she exclaimed. " I 
am almost ready to come out. Which way are 
you going? " 

They told her and ran off to make another 
call. The grown people in Westmore were 
very patient with the children that evening. 
They opened their doors when the bells rang 
and spoke pleasantly to the little ghosts. 
Some of them pretended to be afraid and most 
of them admired the sweet smile of Dora's lan- 
tern. One gentleman gave them each a choco- 
late cream. 



HALLOWE'EN 171 

"Being a spook must be hungry work," 
he said. Lucy and Dora told him that it 
was. 

Only a few houses kept their porch lights 
burning and wouldn't give the children the fun 
of having the door opened for them. 

Lucy and Dora went to call at Miss Page's 
home on the hill. Miss Page seemed to be ex- 
pecting visitors, for she came to the door her- 
self, screamed loudly and then guessed that the 
ghosts were Alice and Grace. The ghosts gig- 
gled and shook their heads. 

" Iris and Mary," suggested Miss Page, and 
she did not guess Lucy and Dora until she had 
named all the girls in her Sunday-school class. 
When the ghosts took little leaps she knew she 
had guessed correctly. 

She gave them each a wee cake with pink 
icing and told them not to fall down the front 
steps and to be careful of their lanterns. 



172 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Next to Miss Page's home stood Mr. Har- 
per's big house. 

" Let us go in here," said Lucy when they 
had untied the tapes on each other's masks, 
eaten the little cakes, and then tied the tapes 
again. 

" Alice will be out with the others," said 
Dora. 

" I know it, but there are some people at 
home. I can see her father sitting by the fire 
in the room where the curtain is up." 

Very softly the children crept on the porch 
and found the electric bell. In a minute they 
heard steps in the hall and the porch light 
came on. 

They did not run but stood in silence, hold- 
ing their grinning lanterns. Mr. Harper 
opened the door and when he saw them he 
looked for a second and then threw his arms up 
into the air. 



HALLOWE'EN 173 

"Help, Mamma!" he shouted. "Ghosts, 
Mamma! Come and save me! " 

Lucy and Dora couldn't help giggling. 
They had not expected him to act like that. 
They didn't think Mrs. Harper would come, 
but she did. 

"Goodness!" she said. "What shall we 
do, James? Ghosts! and not an inch of mos- 
quito netting in the house! " 

This was too much for Dora. She was 
so interested that she forgot she was a 
spook. 

" Don't ghosts like mosquito netting? " she 
asked. 

"No, indeed!" said Mr. Harper. "It 
gives them hay fever. Harriet," he said to his 
wife, " how could you let the mosquito netting 
runout?" 

Lucy began to think Mr. Harper was crazy, 
but Dora knew he wasn't. Uncle Dan talked 



174 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

in just that way. She laughed and so did Mrs. 
Harper. 

" Come in, won't you? " asked Mr. Harper, 
opening the door wider. 

" No, thank you," said Lucy. " We have a 
great many other calls to make. But is Alice 
at home? " 

" She is out being a goblin," said Mrs. 
Harper. " I think you will find her on School 
Street. Could you each eat a caramel? " 

The ghosts needed no second invitation. 
They thanked Mrs. Harper. " Do you know 
us? " Dora asked as they were going. 

Mrs. Harper smiled. " Yes, I know you, 
Dora," she said. " Mrs. Merrill's little girls 
are ladies even when they wear pillow-cases." 

" What did she mean? " Dora asked Lucy 
as they went down the steps. Lucy didn't 
know, but when they asked Mother, she seemed 
to understand, though she didn't tell them. 




"Ghosts, mamma! Come and save mk ! " — P<ui<- /. 



HALLOWE'EN 175 

After they had called on all the people they 
blew in that part of town they went to Olive's 
house, but she was out, having a Hallowe'en 
frolic herself. 

Next, the children joined one of the groups 
in the street. It was holding hands and danc- 
ing around a bonfire. The fire was right in 
the centre where one street crossed another and 
the automobiles could not pass. The automo- 
biles did not like it at all, but there stood Mr. 
Waterman, the tall policeman, and he made 
them all go around another block. This night 
belonged to the children. 

Lucy and Dora danced for a time and then 
began to feel rather tired. The fire was dying 
down and Mr. Waterman yawned behind a veil 
of smoke. 

Before they reached home they met Father, 
who seemed to be out for a walk. He did not 
say he was looking for them, but it was not 



176 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

usual for him to walk about the streets at night 
unless he were going to church or to a lecture 
or to his lodge-meeting. 

Father offered to carry their lanterns and 
both were willing to let him. Even small 
pumpkins grow heavy when carried around for 
an hour and a half. 

The front porch was peppered with beans 
which boys had blown through air-guns. 
Mother thought it wrong for them to waste 
food in that way. 

" Did you have any callers while we were 
gone? " Lucy asked. 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. " Ten different 
ghosts have called on me. I gave each an ani- 
mal cracker and they went away at once. One 
ghost said that elephants didn't agree with 
him, so might he have a lion." 

" Did you change it for him? " asked Dora. 

" I did," said Mrs. Merrill. 



CHAPTER XII 

A BUSY SATURDAY 

WHEN November came, an interest- 
ing thing happened to the Merrill 
children. There had been a number 
of letters from Miss Chandler. Mother and 
Father talked about them after the little girls 
were in bed. Father had taken the letters to 
show Mr. Thorne. 

One afternoon Mother told Lucy and Dora 
that both were to have music lessons. Lucy 
was to learn to play the piano properly, not 
with two or three fingers the way she picked 
out tunes now, but with all ten fingers and ac- 
cording to rule. Miss Chandler and Miss 
Page and Mr. Thorne thought it would be 

nice for Dora to have a little violin. 

177 



178 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Miss Chandler was sure that Dora could 
learn to play. She had a friend who had al- 
ready chosen a fiddle for Dora. It wasn't full- 
sized, but was otherwise just what grown peo- 
ple used. Dora thought it was beautiful. 

Alice Harper had a fiddle also, and when 
Mrs. Merrill spoke to Mrs. Harper about a 
teacher for Dora, Mrs. Harper asked Dora to 
come to her house every Saturday morning 
when Alice had her lesson, and take one from 
the same teacher. 

Alice's teacher was a young man who came 
from Boston. He would be glad to have two 
pupils instead of one. 

Lucy was to take piano lessons from Miss 
Ball, and also on Saturday. But Miss Ball 
had many pupils who wanted their lessons that 
day. Lucy would have to go at eight o'clock. 
This was a chilly hour for a music lesson, but 
Lucy said she did not mind. They both felt 



A BUSY SATURDAY 179 

very important with music to carry about the 
streets. 

" I shall expect you to practise every day," 
said Mother. " You must remember that the 
lessons cost money, and the money will be 
wasted if you don't try hard to learn." 

Lucy and Dora felt sure they should never 
want to do something else instead of prac- 
tising. Mrs. Merrill said she hoped they 
wouldn't. 

After her first lesson Dora felt quite dis- 
couraged. She had expected that Mr. Irons 
would show her at once how to play. Instead, 
he spent all the time telling her how to hold her 
fingers and how to keep the bow in the proper 
position. He would not let her draw the bow 
across the strings unless her fingers were just 
as he wanted them. 

Dora tried hard, but when Mr. Irons said 
she had worked long enough and might listen 



K 



180 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

while Alice had her lesson, Dora decided that it 
would be some time before she could play that 
fiddle. 

Alice could really play quite well, and Dora 
felt more cheerful when she remembered that 
there had been a time when Alice had to think 
about her fingers and the way she held the bow. 
If Alice could learn to do both without think- 
ing much about it, she could learn, too. It is a 
long step toward learning how to do anything 
when one realizes that it must be done a little 
at a time. 

When Dora reached home that Saturday, 
Mrs. Merrill was mixing bread and Lucy was 
perfectly determined to help mix it. She had 
washed her hands nicely and every time Mrs. 
Merrill looked the other way Lucy would make 
dabs at the bread dough. 

" Lucy," said Mrs. Merrill, " next summer 
I will show you how to make bread, but you 



A BUST SATURDAY 181 

must leave this alone. You may make some 
gingerbread if you like." 

Lucy flew for the cook-book. She knew 
which rule Mother used, only Mother never 
had to look at the book. She got out the 
bowl and a spoon and the flour and the 
molasses. 

" You don't need to bring out the whole 
jug," said Mrs. Merrill. " Pour into a cup 
what the rule says." 

Lucy hadn't thought of this. It was easier 
than carrying out the heavy jug. She did 
everything just as the rule said and didn't no- 
tice that Mother kept an eye on her mixing- 
bowl. When the gingerbread was put into a 
nicely buttered pan and safe in the oven, Lucy 
gave a sigh. 

"Don't you wish you could make ginger- 
bread?" she asked Dora, who was paring 
apples for Mother's pies. The Hallowe'en 



182 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

pumpkins were already changed into pies and 
eaten, 

" I think I could make it," said Dora. 

Lucy was surprised, for Dora didn't often 
say things like that. " Mother, could she? " 
she asked Mrs. Merrill. 

" Anybody who can read can use a cook- 
book, and anybody with common sense can 
cook," said Mother. 

Lucy was quite annoyed. Neither Dora 
nor Mother understood how choice that ginger- 
bread was going to be. She at once told 
Dora that she was paring the apples 
too deep. 

" It isn't good next to the skin," said Dora, 
and she went on paring the apples in just the 
same way. 

" Don't be cross, children," said Mrs. Mer- 
rill. " You might help Dora with the apples, 
Lucv, if vou think vou can do them better. I 



A BUST SATURDAY 183 

want to get everything possible done before 
dinner because this afternoon I mean to take 
you over to the city to see about your winter 
coats." 

" Both of us? " asked the children. 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. " Saturday af- 
ternoon isn't a good time to go shopping, but 
now you are having music lessons in the morn- 
ing, I can't manage it then. And I don't like 
to take you out of school to go." 

"Are we both to have new coats? " asked 
Dora. She knew that Lucy was to have one, 
because she had outgrown her old one. It 
could not be buttoned without squeezing hard. 
Dora had expected to wear that coat herself, 
and she did not like its color. The color was 
brown. 

"Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. "Lucy's old 
coat will do for you to wear on stormy days, 
but it does not look very well. She has worn 



184 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

, it three winters. We have decided to buy you 



a new one." 



Dora was delighted. People in the little 
brown cottage thought twice before spending a 
dollar. Father had told the children that he 
was saving money so he could send them to 
school a long time, and was buying insurance. 
That meant if anything happened so Father 
could not work in the printing-press, there 
would still be money to take care of Mother 
and the little girls. Dora had not expected to 
have a new coat. 

" Will it be blue, Mother? " she asked after 
a time. Lucy was paring apples now, and 
Dora didn't think it was quite fair for her to 
choose those with nice smooth skins and leave 
the specked ones for Dora to do. But she did 
not say anything. 

" Will what be blue, child? " asked Mother. 
" Look at your gingerbread, Lucy." 



A BUSY SATURDAY 185 

" My coat," said Dora. Lucy dropped her 
knife and flew to the oven. 

How good that gingerbread did smell! It 
had turned into a desirable brown cake. 

" Is it done, Mother? " Lucy asked. 

" Try it and see," said Mrs. Merrill. " We 
will look at the blue coats, Dora." 

Lucy brought from the pantry one of the 
clean straws Mother kept to test cake. She 
stuck it into her gingerbread. When she drew 
it out the straw felt dry and smooth. 

" It is done," she said. 

Mother took the pan out of the oven. She 
tipped out the gingerbread and put it on a rack 
and covered it with a cloth. " It looks very 
well," she said. 

The fragrance of that gingerbread filled the 
whole house. It even penetrated to the parlor 
where Timothy was sleeping on the couch. He 
had no business there and he got up and came 



186 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

into the kitchen. It was not because his con- 
science pricked him, however, but because of 
the gingerbread. 

Lucy came back to the table where Dora was 
working. She was so proud of her cooking 
that she no longer felt cross. She took an 
apple which had a big speck on the side. 

After dinner everybody hurried to get the 
dishes washed and then Mrs. Merrill and the 
children went to the city. There was no need 
to lock the house, for Mr. Merrill would be at 
home. The printing-press did not run on Sat- 
urday afternoons. 

It was late before the shoppers came back. 
Dora did not wait to open the packages before 
telling Father that she had a pretty blue coat. 
Lucy had another brown one, not like her old 
coat, but a different shade of brown. To go 
with the coat was a round brown sailor hat with 
a ribbon hanging down the back. Dora's hat 



A BUSY SATURDAY 187 

was just like it, only dark blue, with a blue rib- 
bon. Then Dora asked Father if he had been 
lonesome. 

Father said he had been too busy to be lone- 
some. Dora wondered what he had been do- 
ing. On the floor before the Franklin stove 
was spread a newspaper, with chips on it, as 
though Father had been whittling. 

Mr. Merrill looked at the new coats and hats 
and thought them very pretty. After supper, 
when they were all in the parlor, he began to 
whittle again. 

Lucy and Dora were learning their Sunday- 
school lesson. Mrs. Merrill had just found 
out that they had not even looked at it, and she 
said it must be learned at once. She should be 
much ashamed of them if they went to Sunday 
school without knowing the lesson. 

Dora hurried as much as she could. She 
read the lesson and looked up the Bible refer- 



188 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

ences and tried to answer the questions. But 
all the time she wondered what Father was 
making. As soon as she finished she asked him. 

" What do they look like? " inquired Father. 

" Like little dolls, only in pieces," said Dora. 

" That's just what they are," said Mr. Mer- 
rill, and then he smiled at her. Dora's eyes 
grew wide. 

"Father!" she said. "Are you trying to 
make marionettes like those we saw in Boston? 
Are you really?" 

" That's what I'm trying to do," said Mr. 
Merrill, and he fitted a little arm to one of his 
bodies. " These are just tiny ones but I 
thought we'd begin small and see how we come 
out." 

" Is it to be Jack and the Beanstalk? " asked 
Dora eagerly. " Do let it be that, because we 
know how to play it." 

" This is Jack I'm working on," said Mr. 



A BUST SATURDAY 189 

Merrill. " That's his mother there, not put 
together, but I don't know whether I can make 
a proper cow." 

"Father!" exclaimed Lucy, "Dora had a 
toy cow once on wheels and the wheels were 
broken. Couldn't you use that cow? You 
could take it apart at the joints." 

" I am a printer, not a butcher," said Mr. 
Merrill, " but I'll look at that cow, if Dora is 
willing we should use it." 

Dora was willing. The cow belonged to her 
very little girlhood. She never played with it 
now. 

Lucy ran up-stairs and found the cow. Mr. 
Merrill said it was the right size and would do 
nicely. He would try strings fastened to it in 
different places and perhaps they could make 
it walk without taking it apart or putting 
joints in its legs. 

Dora began making plans. There could be 



190 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

a set of dolls for " Cinderella," and, of course, 
they would need rabbits for the rabbit play. 
She asked Father at once if he could make 
some. 

Mr. Merrill said he would prefer to finish the 
marionettes for Jack before he began any 
more, but he thought he could manage the rab- 
bits. " How about clothes? " he asked. " Can 
you and Mother 'tend to that part? " 

When they asked her, Mother looked rather 
doubtful. " I can make dolls' clothes," she 
said, " but these dolls are very small. We will 
try. The clothes must fit exactly right so as 
not to interfere with the strings to work their 
arms and legs." 

" Perhaps we could make paper clothes," 
suggested Dora; " paste the paper right on." 

" That might answer," said Mother, " but 
we will try the cloth ones. How was Jack 
dressed?" 



A BUSY SATURDAY 191 

The children told her and Mrs. Merrill said 
she would see what she could do. 

Father explained that the idea was really 
Uncle Dan's. Dan said it would be possible 
to make a little stage for the marionettes and 
that he would make one if Father would whit- 
tle the dolls. The back of the stage was to 
come up high enough so that Lucy and Dora 
could stand behind and not be seen while they 
were working the little puppets. All this was 
to be a Christmas present from Father and 
Uncle Dan. 

Dora and Lucy thought it the nicest gift 
anybody could think of. They were perfectly 
sure no other little girls in Westmore would 
have a Christmas present like it. Mr. Merrill 
promised that if the first marionettes turned 
out well he would make the characters for an- 
other play. 

Lucy and Dora planned at once to give an 



192 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

entertainment with the theatre and invite their 
Sunday-school class and Miss Page. Mrs. 
Merrill agreed that this would be pleasant, but 
she thought they would have to see how well the 
figures would work when they were finished, 
and that it might take both children a little 
time to learn how to pull the strings. 

" I would not invite Miss Page just yet," 
she said. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THANKSGIVING 

HAVING helped make the Victory 
Park, all the Westmore children 
felt responsible for its welfare. Any 
dog who imprudently walked on its flower- 
beds, or ran in circles on the grass-sown 
level, was at once called off, scolded, and 
slapped. Before the middle of November 
most of the dogs understood that the park was 
no place for them to play, at least when the 
children saw them. 

At that time of year nothing could be ex- 
pected to grow, but the children felt it their 
duty to see that nothing was dug up nor dis- 
turbed. Every child remembered the place 

where his bulb was planted and kept an eye on 

193 



194 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

it. When winter was gone and spring called 
to the flowers, those bulb beds would have fre- 
quent visitors. 

All over New England November means 
Thanksgiving, and it did in Westmore. There 
were no cousins and no grandmother to come 
to the Merrill cottage, for Uncle John lived in 
far California. 

Some time, Father said, when their ship 
came in, they would buy a little Ford, and a 
tent, and go to see Uncle John and Aunt Nell. 
But whenever Lucy and Dora asked whether 
the ship was coming, Father would smile and 
shake his head. 

Still, there was to be company for dinner. 
Olive and her father were invited. Everybody 
wanted Olive, and it would not be polite to ask 
her without asking Mr. Gates. Olive would 
not come alone, because she kept house for her 
father. She would not go to the beach until 



THANKSGIVING 195 

she arranged for him to have his meals with 
the people next door. 

" Mother," asked Dora on the Monday be- 
fore Thanksgiving, " are we going to have a 
turkey? " 

" Not at seventy-two cents a pound," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " Even if I could afford to pay 
that much, I would not. I don't think there is 
any need for them to cost so much." 

" Will there be a chicken? " asked Dora. 

" I think we may manage that," said Mrs. 
Merrill, " if they are at all reasonable in price, 
but we may have just a nice piece of pork or 
beef to roast. It isn't what we have to eat that 
makes the Thanksgiving dinner, child. It is 
the being thankful for it." 

" Mr. Thorne said last Sunday that we must 
save all the pennies we can for the Christmas 
manger. Because there are children in Eu- 
rope and Asia who haven't even bread to eat." 



196 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" I know it," said Mrs. Merrill, and she went 
on sewing Dora's school dress. 

" I am not going to buy any more candy," 
said Dora. ' Yesterday Uncle Dan gave me 
ten cents for caramels. Wouldn't you put it 
in your mite-box if you were I, Mother? " 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. " Sometimes it 
chokes me to have enough to eat when I think 
about those children. If you and Lucy and 
Dan are willing, we will have pork for our 
Thanksgiving dinner. I will ask how much 
more the chicken would cost. Then we will 
put the difference into the fund for the hungry 
children." 

" Lucy will want to," said Dora. " Uncle 
Dan may want things very nice because of 
Olive. Perhaps he would be disappointed not 
to have chicken. Will you ask him, Mother? " 

"Ask him yourself, child. He'll do it for 
you if he will for anybody." 



THANKSGIVING 197 

That evening Dora asked Uncle Dan. She 
did not need to coax him. Uncle Dan had 
heard about the hungry children. 

" Sure thing," he said. " Roast pork is good 
enough for me." 

When Mrs. Merrill went to market she in- 
quired the price of a large chicken. A big one 
would be needed for a dinner for seven people. 
Then she bought the pork. 

When she came home she took ninety-eight 
cents from her purse and gave it to the chil- 
dren. " You may divide it between your 
mite-boxes," she said. 

Thanksgiving Day was cold and blustering, 
which made the Avarm house seem all the more 
pleasant. A cheerful fire blazed in the Frank- 
lin stove and Father was at home. 

He helped make the dining-table larger. 
Mother put on the best table-cloth. The pat- 
tern woven into it was bunches of drooping 



198 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

lilacs and Lucy and Dora thought it very 
pretty. Mother smoothed out every wrinkle 
and then the children set the table. 

In the centre they put a vase of dark red 
chrysanthemums, cold and fragrant from the 
garden. Dora loved their spicy smell. They 
were only about as big as buttons, but some- 
thing in their odor made her think of ferns and 
brooks and pleasant things which would come 
with spring. 

Never was table set more carefully. Each 
knife and fork was laid as though the proper 
spot were located with a foot-rule. Dora felt 
that Lucy was too particular. Lucy moved 
almost everything Dora put in place. 

When Lucy's back was turned, Dora quietly 
put things as they were before. And the dis- 
tance either moved them was so slight that 
when Lucy looked back she did not notice what 
Dora had done c 



THANKSGIVING 199 

There was to be apple-sauce, as is the custom 
with roast pork, but Mother had also made 
cranberry sauce because Father and Uncle 
Dan were fond of it. 

Everybody would want apple-sauce, so 
Lucy took a spoon and filled seven glass 
dishes. She placed one at each plate. The 
cranberry sauce was in a large dish. It was to 
go in front of Olive, with a spoon and more 
glass saucers. Dora brought the dish from the 
pantry, holding it carefully in both hands. 

What possessed Timothy just then? He 
liked to weave himself in and about people's 
feet when he was hungry, but Timmy had 
eaten his dinner. If he had not been fed, there 
would be no peace for anybody in the Merrill 
kitchen. Timothy was not hungry and he 
should have been washing his face before the 
parlor fire, not walking in front of Dora. 

Dora tripped over him. She held on to the 



200 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

dish, but spilled the cranberry on the table, all 
over Mother's clean Thanksgiving cloth! 

" Now, see what you've done! " cried Lucy, 
perfectly horrified. 

Poor Dora picked herself up. What cran- 
berry wasn't on the table-cloth was on her 
pretty white dress. 

What a dreadful thing to happen! But the 
worst was that Lucy spoke as though she 
thought Dora meant to do it. Would Mother 
think the same? 

Mrs. Merrill came out of the pantry and 
for a moment she looked as though she didn't 
know what to do any more than the children. 
Dora stood with her lip quivering and her eyes 
full of tears. 

" Well, that is too bad," said Mrs. Merrill. 
" Stop crying, Dora; it doesn't mend matters. 
Of course you didn't mean to do it." 

Mrs. Merrill looked at the table-cloth 




What possessed Timothy just then? — Page 199. 



THANKSGIVING 201 

Then she looked at Dora and looked at the 
clock. She unbuttoned Dora's dress. 

" Take this into the shed, Lucy," she said, 
" and put it in one of the tubs. Go and put on 
your blue gingham, Dora. Hurry, both of 
you, for we must take off the dishes and put on 
another cloth." 

Trying not to cry, Dora went up-stairs. 

" Dora was very careless, wasn't she?" asked 
Lucy, coming back from the shed and helping 
gather up the plates and silver. 

" It was an accident," said Mother with a 
sigh. " It might have happened to you." 

All the same, Lucy had not spilled the apple- 
sauce, and she felt virtuous. 

" Put that cat out," said Mrs. Merrill. " I 
can't have him under foot a minute longer." 

Lucy put the beloved pussy into the shed 
and when she came back she no longer felt 
proud because she had not spilled things. 



202 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" Mother," she said when the table was 
cleared, " I think I will put on my pink ging- 
ham." 

Mrs. Merrill looked at her. 

" Because," said Lucy, " Dora hasn't an- 
other white dress to wear." 

" That is a good plan," said Mother, and she 
smiled at Lucy. 

Dora came back, rather wet about the eye- 
lashes. Lucy buttoned the blue dress and 
Dora settled the Chinese kitten in place. After 
all, Vega was enchanting against blue. 

The stained table-cloth went into the tub 
with Dora's dress. There was no time to at- 
tend to them. Mother put on another cloth, 
not so fine nor so pretty, but just as white. 

The children set the table again and this 
time neither was fussy about the way the other 
did things. Only at intervals Dora's lip quiv- 
ered. 



THANKSGIVING 203 

" Is there any more cranbeiry sauce? " she 
asked Mother. 

Mrs. Merrill shook her head. " I bought 
only a quart of berries," she said. 

" There won't be any for Father and Uncle 
Dan," said Dora. 

" They never knew there was any," said 
Mrs. Merrill. " They won't miss it at all." 

"Oh, Mother!" said Lucy, "something is 
wrong with the gas stove." 

Mrs. Merrill hurried to the stove. Yes, the 
flame was turned too high and the macaroni 
was scorching. 

" This dinner seems possessed," she sighed 
as she turned down the gas and took out the 
macaroni. 

Just then Olive came running in with a gay 
greeting. She kissed the little girls and 
Mother, too, because it was Thanksgiving. 
She ran up-stairs and left her coat and 



204 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

hat in the children's room. Then she flew 
down. 

"What shall I do?" she asked. "Mash 
these potatoes? " 

" Yes," said Mrs. Merrill. " Unless you'd 
rather make the gravy." 

" Your gravy is better than mine," said 
Olive and she stuck a fork into the potatoes. 
They were done and she whisked them off the 
stove. 

With Olive's coming, ill-luck went away. 
Nobody upset anything more, and nothing 
burned. 

Father, Uncle Dan, and Mr. Gates came in 
together and Mother sent them directly into 
the parlor. She said it was bad enough to 
have a cat getting underfoot; she could not 
stand three men. 

When they sat down to dinner, nobody could 
have guessed that the table had twice been com- 



THANKSGIVING 205 

pletely set. If Olive noticed that this was not 
the best table-cloth, she didn't say anything, 
but of course, nobody would be so rude as to 
speak of a thing like that. 

The roast pork was done to a turn. Every- 
body enjoyed it and was glad that it wasn't 
chicken. Forty-nine cents apiece, in two 
mite-boxes, would be quite an addition to the 
Christmas manger. 

They sat a long time at the table, talking 
and enjoying the early twilight. Indeed, it 
was really dark when the last piece of pie was 
eaten and the last nut cracked. 

" Now, we will do the dishes," said Mr. Mer- 
rill. " Wash or wipe, Dan? " 

Mother Merrill gave a gasp and the children 
laughed. Sometimes, Father wiped dishes, 
but neither he nor Uncle Dan was ever trusted 
to wash them. 

Uncle Dan was game. He took Mother's 



206 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

apron from behind the door and put it on. He 
got out the dish-pan. 

" Dan, you will never get those kettles 
clean," said Mrs. Merrill, but she did not speak 
as though she meant him to stop. Mother was 
tired. She had cooked dinner and still had 
Dora's dress and the table-cloth to wash. 

" I shall wash," said Olive, grabbing another 
apron. " Dan and Dad shall wipe. Molly 
Merrill, you may gather up the food and put 
it away. Mr. Merrill may scrape the dishes." 

Everybody did what Olive said. In half 
an hour all the kettles and dishes were clean 
and in place. The dish-wipers were rinsed 
and hung to dry and the kitchen was tidy and 
cosy. There was nothing to do but enjoy 
themselves. 

Olive and Uncle Dan went out to walk. 
They said they needed exercise. The rest 
went into the parlor and sat before the open 



THANKSGIVING 207 

fire. Mr. Merrill got out the marionettes and 
began to whittle. 

Mr. Gates was much interested. He took 
a piece of wood and opened his own knife. He 
said he used to do something in that line him- 
self. 

On the edge of the open stove the children 
put some chestnuts to roast. Father had 
brought them purposely for the evening. 
Each nut had slits cut on one side. If this 
were not done, the heated nut would sometimes 
shoot across the room or even explode. Lucy 
and Dora had learned that it was best to cut 
the slit. 

Mother brought her knitting and the chil- 
dren sat on the floor and watched the chestnuts 
and Mr. Merrill and Mr. Gates whittling. 

" It is a good plan," said Mr. Merrill, " to 
put into words sometimes how much we have 
to be thankful for. Now I am glad I have 



208 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

a home and a family and a paying job. What 
are you thankful for, Mother? " 

" For my home and my family, and yes — for 
my job, too," said Mother with a little laugh. 
" That my husband never drinks and that Dan 
is a good lad." 

" I am thankful for my daughter," said Mr. 
Gates, " even though I expect to go shares in 
her some day." 

" Your turn, Lucy " said Mr. Merrill, 
smiling. 

" I am thankful for the marionettes you are 
making and for my new coat," said Lucy, after 
thinking half a minute. 

" How about Dora? " asked Mr. Merrill. 

"lam thankful for my Chinese kitten and 
that I had Arcturus once," said little Dora. 
" That I have enough to eat, not like the poor 
children across the sea. And that Mother 
doesn't scold when I spill the cranberry sauce." 



CHAPTER XIV 

CHRISTMAS 

EVERY day in the year has the same 
number of hours, but some days skim 
past like an automobile and some creep 
like a snail at a gallop. The days between 
Thanksgiving and Christmas are of the motor- 
car variety. There is so much to do, and to 
think of, that people can scarcely believe the 
clock. Lucy and Dora were as busy with their 
plans as were the grown people. 

Dora made several pretty calendars for 
gifts. She hemmed a duster for Miss Chan- 
dler and another for Mother. She thought 
Miss Chandler would find use for a duster in 
her three rooms, especially a cream-white one, 
feather-stitched all around in blue. 

Mrs. Merrill suggested this gift and she 
209 



210 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

thought Dora took a good while to make it. 
She 'id not know that Dora made a second 
one, precisely like the first. She made it un- 
der Mother's very nose, and Mother never saw 
it. Lucy and Dora both thought this was very 
funny, and could not help laughing, but it 
never occurred to Mrs. Merrill that the duster 
Dora was working on was not always the same 
one. 

On Christmas eve there was a church serv- 
ice. Miss Page asked her class to come early. 
This was an important occasion because the 
mite-boxes for the hungry children in other 
countries were to be collected. 

Mr. and Mrs. Merrill were going with the 
children, but they would sit in the back of the 
church. Lucy and Dora were to sit with their 
class. The class was to sit in pew twenty-eight. 

There had been many things to do that after- 
noon, and nobody looked out until they started 



CHRISTMAS 211 

for church. When the door shut behind the 
Merrill family, everybody was surprised. 

Christmas came on a moonlight night that 
year, but in addition to the moon, at almost 
every house the porch light was shining, and 
the ordinary electric bulbs had been unscrewed 
and red ones substituted, All up and down the 
streets shone the pretty red lights. 

"Oh, Mother!" said Lucy. "I wish our 
house had one. But it is only gas, and none 
at all on the porch." 

Mrs. Merrill thought a minute. The red 
lights did look pretty. In the front windows 
of the brown cottage hung Christmas wreaths 
but there was no light behind them. 

" Wait for me a bit," she said, and she went 
back into the cottage. 

Lucy and Dora wondered what she was go- 
ing to do. A group of young people went by. 
They were singing softly and Father began to 



212 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

sing with them. When Father was a young 
man, he used to belong to the choir. 

"It came upon the midnight clear, 
That glorious song of old, 
Of angels bending near the earth, 
To touch their harps of gold. ' ' 

What was Mother doing? She had lighted 
the lamp on the parlor table, but what was 
keeping her now? 

"Still through the cloven skies they come, 
With peaceful wings unfurled : 
And still their heavenly music floats 
O'er all the weary world.' ' 

Dora looked up at the sky. The moon was 
so bright that only the largest stars could show 
to-night. There was Orion with his flaming 
belt ahd sword. Dora knew several star- 
groups now. She and Uncle Dan and Olive 
had gone out one night with a flash-light and 
the star-book from the Public Library and 
traced them. Still, Mrs. Merrill did not come. 



CHRISTMAS 213 

"Father," asked Dora, "do you think 
angels come down to earth now? " 

" If they ever come, it is at Christmas," said 
Father, and he went on humming the words 
which were now faint in the distance. 

"O rest beside the weary road, 
And hear the angels sing." 

Suddenly the windows of the Merrill parlor 
turned a warm crimson. From them streamed 
a soft red light. 

"Oh, look, Father! Look, Dora!" ex- 
claimed Lucy. " Now, we have a red light, 
too!" 

" I thought Mother would fix it somehow," 
said Mr. Merrill. 

Mrs. Merrill came out while the children 
were still exclaiming. " How did you do it? " 
Dora asked. 

" With Dan's red silk scarf," said Mrs. Mer~ 



214 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

rill, pulling on her gloves again, and looking 
back at the pretty light. 

" Safe against fire, Molly? " asked Mr. Mer- 
rill. " We wouldn't like to go to church and 
come home to find the house burned." 

" It can't take fire," said Mrs. Merrill. 

The minute they entered the vestibule, spicy 
smells of spruce and evergreen greeted them. 
The church was warm and all the rafters were 
draped with festoons of green. The only light 
was in the chancel and what came from two big 
Christmas trees on either side of the chancel 
arch. They were strung with wee red bulbs, 
and at the top of each tree shone a star. Be- 
tween the trees stood the manger for the gifts. 

When the choir came, in place of their usual 
white cottas, they wore bright red ones. How 
Christmas-y the church did seem ! 

There were carols and Christmas hymns and 
then one by one, the classes took up their mite- 



CHRISTMAS 2W 

boxes and placed them in the manger. 
People had brought other gifts for the poor. 
All the children looked over their toys and se- 
lected something to go to the Children's Hos- 
pital. 

Lucy chose a doll of which she was not very 
fond. Dora brought a set of blocks, which she 
liked very much. She did not often play with 
them now, but because she had enjoyed them 
so much herself, she thought children who were 
not very sick — just beginning to get better — 
might care for them. 

The Christmas eve service did not last long, 
but it left everybody with a pleasant and 
peaceful feeling. 

All the red lights were yet burning 
and almost every house had wreaths in the 
front windows. The children were pleased as 
they came near the brown cottage to hear peo- 
ple speak of how pretty the red lamp looked. 



216 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

" You'll let it burn a long time, won't you, 
Mother? " begged Dora. 

" It may burn until Father and I go to bed," 
said Mrs. Merrill. " You children had better 
be off early, so as to give Santa Claus a 
chance." 

" There is to be a surprise for you, to-mor- 
row," said Dora, and she and Lucy both gig- 
gled. 

" There will be surprises for everybody," 
said Mrs. Merrill, " but I think the biggest one 
will be for Dora." 

When Mother said this Dora almost flew up 
in the air. On anv time but Christmas eve, she 
could not have borne the suspense. But she 
would know early in the morning. 

Mr. Merrill unlocked the door and they all 
went into the cosy house. And there, on a 
table near the parlor door, stood a fairy Christ- 
mas tree ! 



CHRISTMAS 217 

It was only about eighteen inches high, 
planted in a flower-pot full of sand. At the 
top shone a silvery star, and from the star 
dropped webs that looked as though very large 
spiders had been spinning silver lace. 
Through the shimmery mist showed the green 
branches. 

The tree had not been there when they went 
to church ! The children stared in surprise and 
danced about the room. It was not until they 
had jumped around for a minute or two that 
they saw Mother was as surprised as anybody. 
She looked at the lovely tree and then at Fa- 
ther. 

" I didn't do it, Molly," he said smiling. 

" But you know who did," said Mrs. Merrill. 

" Cross my heart, I don't," declared Father. 

How Lucy and Dora laughed to hear him 
say this. They looked again at the wee tree. 
Red candies were tied to its branches with sil- 



218 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

ver cord, and white sugar-plums with red 
string. That was all the fruit it bore. 

" Now, didn't you put it ther^ yourself, 
Mother? " asked Mr. Merrill. " When you 
went back to light the lamp? " 

" I didn't," said Mrs. Merrill. " It wasn't 
there then and I never saw it before, and the 
house has been locked all the time we were at 
church." 

" It is odd how a Christmas tree could get 
into a locked house," agreed Mr. Merrill. 
" Had we better report it to the police? " 

" I wouldn't go so far as that," said Mrs. 
Merrill. " Here's Dan. He may know." 

" I was at church," protested Dan. " Didn't 
you see me singing in the choir in a very fancy 

rig? " 

" Uncle Dan," said Dora, " did you ever see 
that tree before? " 

" How can I tell? " said Dan. " There have 



CHRISTMAS 219 

been several hundred Christmas trees in the 
square this past week. I don't know one from 
another." 

Dora held him firmly. " Did you put that 
tree in here? " she asked. 

" I did not," said Dan. 

" Did you unlock the door so somebody 
could bring it in? " Lucy asked. 

" I did not," said Dan. 

The children looked at each other. Then 
Dora had a bright idea. 

" Uncle Dan," she demanded, " did you 
lend your key to somebody while you went to 
church? " 

" I have answered three questions and that 
is enough! " said Dan. And he never did an- 
swer that one. 

All the family hung up their stockings. 
Lucy and Dora put theirs on the brass knobs 
either side of the open stove. Mr. and Mrs. 



220 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Merrill fastened theirs to the ends of the sofa. 
Uncle Dan went out again, but Dora hung his 
sock to the back of Mother's rocking-chair. 
She and Lucy took one last look at the fairy 
tree and went to bed. 

They didn't talk and giggle more than any 
little sisters do on Christmas eve and they went 
to sleep before Mrs. Merrill expected. In less 
than an hour she put out the red lamp. 

It was still dark when E )ra wok but a 
great star was looking throu^ the oper T in- 
dow. It was so big and so bright that it seemed 
like the real star of Bethlehem, shining to guide 
the shepherds to where the little Jesus lay. 

The star was so beautiful that Dora looked 
at it instead of wondering about her stocking. 
That could wait, but the star would fade with 
the dawn. She watched it a long time and saw 
the sky gradually grow lighter and the star less 
distinct- 




A l. HI \l STAB WAS IOIIK 



CHRISTMAS 221 

Just as she was having hard work to see the 
star, Lucy woke. " Merry Christmas, Dora! " 
she exclaimed. " Let's get up and look at our 
stockings." 

Lucy hustled down the steep stairs, but 
Dora opened the door of Uncle Dan's room 
and looked in. Only his black head showed 
above the blankets. The window was wide 
open and the room freezing cold, but Dora ran 
in, kissed Uncle Dan's cheek and whispered 
" Merry Christmas! " in his ear. 

Dan woke and looked at her. " Get back to 
bed," he said. " You'll catch your death." 
And then he said, " Merry Christmas, Dora! " 

When Dora reached the foot of the stairs, 
Mr. Merrill jumped out from behind the door 
to his room and gave her a big hug and a 
Christmas greeting. 

Father came into the parlor, he said to make 
the fire burn better for the children, but 



222 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Mother came the next moment, and she didn't 
give any excuse for coming. Most mothers 
and fathers like to see the Christmas stockings 
opened. 

The stockings were knobby and puffed and 
would be most uncomfortable to wear if they 
should stay that shape. Some packages were 
too big even to go in. These were on the floor 
under the stockings. 

Lucy and Dora began to open the gifts, and 
everything they opened they liked very much. 

From Mother there was a pretty woolen cap 
and muffler, a brown set for Lucy and a blue 
one for Dora. Both were much pleased, be- 
cause all the girls were wearing them. 

Olive gave Lucy a box of pretty handker- 
chiefs and Dora some writing paper with a 
blue M at the top. It was like some which 
Olive had at the beach and which Dora ad- 
mired. Olive's paper was marked G. 



CHRISTMAS 223 

Miss Page gave each a little New Testa- 
ment. There was also from Miss Page a cun- 
ning bouquet. At a distance it looked like a 
bunch of flowers, but each flower was a bit of 
candy wrapped in oiled paper. About the 
bouquet was some paper lace. Both Lucy and 
Dora were delighted. 

Lucy liked her pincushion very much. She 
had made for Dora a little silk bag in which 
to carry a purse or a handkerchief. 

Uncle Dan gave each a box of candy, be- 
sides making the stage for the marionettes. 
The stage was finished and painted. It stood 
back against the parlor wall. 

And as though Father were not making 
them a big present by whittling the puppets for 
the theatre, he gave them each a book. Lucy's 
was " When Mother Lets Us Cook." 

Only the fact that she was not dressed kept 
Lucy from rushing into the kitchen and trying 



224 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

a receipt. Besides, Mother said quite em- 
phatically that she wasn't doing any " letting " 
at that hour in the morning. Later in the day, 
she would see about it. 

What do you think was the name of Dora's 
book? She could scarcely believe her eyes. 
When she did believe them, she could not 
speak, only look at Father and then hug him 
hard. 

Father had gone to the Public Library and 
asked Miss Perkins which book Dora liked 
best. Miss Perkins remembered. Indeed, it 
would be strange if she did not know, for Dora 
had borrowed the book five times since Sep- 
tember. Father had bought her the " Story of 
Doctor Dolittle." 

" It was the biggest surprise, Mother! " 
Dora said, when she had thanked Father again 
and again and looked at the pictures for about 
the fortieth time. 



CHRISTMAS 225 

" Oh, that isn't the surprise," said Mrs. Mer- 
rill. 

" It isn't! " said Dora. " What can it be? " 

She got down from Father's knee and took 
her limp stocking from the knob. In the toe 
was still a small package. 

In the toe of hers, Lucy had just found the 
white Chinese kitten and was speechless with 
pleasure. She liked it better than Dora's blue 
one. 

11 Because there really are white kittens," she 
said. 

" There are blue ones, too," said Dora. 
" Aunt Margaret told me so. Blue Persian 
cats." 

" I don't think they are just like yours," said 
Lucy. 

Dora had never seen a Persian blue, so she 
did not say anything. Besides, she was won- 
dering what Miss Chandler had given her. 



226 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

It was a little gold ring set with a blue stone 
which Mr. Merrill thought was an aqua- 
marine. 

Dora didn't care about the name, but she 
liked the ring exceedingly. She slipped it on 
her finger. It just fitted. 

" This must be the big surprise," she said to 
Mother. 

• " The ring is a surprise to me," said Mrs. 
Merrill, " for I didn't know what was in that 
package. But it is not the surprise I 
mean." 

Dora again felt her stocking and discovered 
a tiny wad of tissue paper. She untwisted it 
and her eyes and mouth both opened. 

"Mother!" she exclaimed after a second, 
"oh, Mother! Mother! is it really Arcturus, 
my Arcturus? Where did he come from? 
Oh, Mother, my bear, my own little silver 
bear!" 



CHRISTMAS 227 

" You can never guess where we found him," 
said Mrs. Merrill. 

" Did somebody find him at the beach? Did 
Uncle Dan go over again? " asked Lucy, as 
excited as Dora. 

" Arcturus came home from the beach when 
we did," said Mrs. Merrill. " He has been in 
Westmore all the time, though not in our 
house." 

" Where was he? " Dora asked eagerly. 

" He was found last week," said Mrs. Mer- 
rill, " but I thought since it was so near Christ- 
mas he might as well come back in your stock- 
ing. You remember that I went to the church 
to help pack a missionary barrel? " 

The children remembered perfectly. They 
had carried some shoes to the church to go in 
that barrel. 

" When we came to pack the things," said 
Mrs. Merrill, " there was that straw hat of 



228 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

Olive's, the one with the pink roses. The 
flowers were faded, but the hat was really too 
good for Olive to give away, and I told 
her so. 

" While we were turning the hat about and 
looking at it," Mrs. Merrill went on, " Dora's 
silver bear dropped out of a fold of velvet. I 
can't account for his getting into it, but that is 
where he was." 

The children knew how he got there. Lucy 
remembered picking up Olive's hat from the 
sand the very morning Arcturus ran away. 
All the time he was hiding in the velvet, so the 
sifting of the sand didn't make him appear e 

" Arcturus has come home! " said Dora hap- 
pily. " How nice that he came on Christmas 
morning. I felt dreadfully when he ran away, 
but if he hadn't, probably I would never have 
had the Chinese kitten. I hope Arcturus won't 
be jealous of Vega." 



CHRISTMAS 229 

" Mother," said Lucy, " it's your turn now, 
You and Father open your presents." 

" Not until I am dressed," said Mrs. Mer- 
rill. " This sitting about in a kimono is chilly 
work." 

" My feet are cold," Lucy admitted. 

" You and Dora run and get into your 
clothes," said Mrs. Merrill. " Come, Father." 

Dora made no motion to start. " My feet 
are cold, too," she said. " Father, do you think 
if a person had only one foot, it could possibly 
be so cold as two?" 

" I'm sure I don't know," said Mr. Mer- 
rill. 

" I will ask Uncle Dan," said Dora. " And 
I must tell him that Arcturus has come home. 
How surprised he will be! I can't see how 
Uncle Dan can sleep on Christmas morning. 
I woke him once, but he must have gone to 
sleep again. Father, did you know that the 



230 THE CHINESE KITTEN 

star of Bethlehem was shining this morn- 
ing? " 

" Over in the east? " asked Father Merrill. 
" Yes, Dora, I saw it." 



THE END